3 TOOLS TO AVOID GETTING STUCK WITH DEBT
Have you ever been nervous? Have your palms ever started sweating, has your heart ever wanted to beat right out of your chest, has your mouth ever felt like it was full of cotton balls? My blog last week was about how you can get over this kind of fear and anxiety. Check it out HERE if you missed it.
November is financial literacy month in Canada, so today, let's talk money. I've been there before. I have been stuck in credit card debt and lines of credit. I was in my twenties. I didn't really know that credit cards were NOT free money, that they actually were meant for banks to line their pockets. I hadn't realized that I had to pay it all back someday. I thought that paying the minimum fee every month would eventually make my credit card balance go down. I even remember paying a credit card with another credit card. It was a nightmare. I didn't know much about money.
My friend, Lynn Williams, would be able to give you lots of very useful financial advice as she is a certified financial planner. You can check her out HERE. What I can give you, on the other hand, is mindset advice about money. Our finances are closely connected to our emotions. When we spend, we too often get stuck in emotion instead of making rational purchases... Watch the video below or keep reading for more.
Purchasing is an emotional behaviour. Of course, things like grocery shopping are not emotional purchases in themselves, but if you take a look at what exactly is in your shopping cart at the grocery store, I guarantee you'll be able to find some stuff in there that you don't actually need!
You may be familiar with the six layers of a person's self. According to Dr. Robert Dilts' research, there are six neurological levels:
Most people have different issues in their lives. We go through life just like everyone else, but each and every one of us has different experiences, which lead to different issues. For example, you may have a limiting belief that you will always live paycheck to paycheck, or you may have a problem at the Identity level of the pyramid, thinking that you're not good enough.
Oftentimes, we try to fix this with an environmental solution. You try to fix "I'm not good enough" (Identity level) with purchasing an expensive car (Environment level). It's not going to work. Or you're trying to fix "I will always live paycheck to paycheck" (Beliefs level) by becoming a shopaholic (Behaviour level). While getting financial advice is useful (skills), that alone is not enough. You need to fix the problem where it belongs (usually in Beliefs and Values or Identity levels).
Have you ever bought on impulse? You're at the drugstore because you ran out of toothpaste, and then the cashier rings you up and your bill is $300. You just needed toothpaste, but you walked by a rack in the middle of the drugstore with a few cute shirts, and all of a sudden, you needed a shirt.
Tool #1: Walk Away
Walk away. That's the first tip I want to give you.
Walking away is a skill you can acquire. Just go. Walk away. Tell yourself: "I'm going to walk away. Just walk away right now. I don't need that. I'm walking away." If you're online shopping (it's so easy now, right?) and something comes up, something that you didn't even know it existed a few minutes ago, but now you feel like you need it, turn your computer off, close the browser, shut your phone off, navigate away from this thing: It is your impulse kicking in.
Tool #2: What's Important to You?
Another thing you can do is take a look at your values, look at what's important to you. Have a look at your credit card statement and look at how you spent the money. Are your expenses in sync with what's really important to you, within your values? Most of the time, there is a disconnect between the two, and we're not really buying the things that actually matter to us.
Tool #3: Know your Money
We also tend not to calculate things very well. Yes, the two tips I gave you earlier may help you a lot, but as I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, of course you should also see a financial advisor and go through your cashflow and see how much money is available and figure out exactly what you can afford.
You can also check out this article by Lynn Williams, Certified Financial Planner, on 3 Things to Do to Get out of Debt Forever HERE.
With these three tools combined, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to stick to your plan, because you will stay away from emotional purchases and you will be able to troubleshoot the problem where it actually is. If your problem's at the Identity level, if you feel like you're not good enough and that this new top of the line phone would make you feel better, then we need to fix the Identity problem. The phone is not the solution.
If you enjoyed this blog and would like to know more about money, make sure you download our FREE Guide: 10 Common Behaviours of Financially Confident People. At the end of the day, the goal is to move forward and not make the same mistakes twice, right?
Go find out what these mistakes are...
Have a fantastic week!
WE DON'T WANT TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE.
If you'd like to know even more, our online course, Ditch the Debt, was created jointly with Lynn Williams, a Certified Financial Planner. The course has so many different tips to really figure out how to walk yourself out of this bad habit that you can totally get rid of.
Check out some of my previous blog posts...
How to Reach Your Aims & Aspirations
Lose 25 lb in Two Days & Make 50K Overnight!
How to Stop Being a Shopaholic