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A Debt Free Attitude

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 25 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
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Maintaining a debt free attitude is a matter of discipline, especially if you have been prone to spending on plastic in the past. For a great many people debt is a way of life but there are many that can happily live without monthly repayments and wasted interest payments.

Getting Out of Debt

There is no doubt that we are a society geared towards spending now and paying later. Around 1 million people with debt problems contact the Citizens Advice office each year and that number looks set to rise. Many people have the attitude that debt is a necessity, and in some cases this can be true. However, there is good debt and bad debt. Good debt will be something that improves your existence such as a mortgage or educational loans. Bad debt is something that has no worth whatsoever, such as impulse purchases on credit cards where interest fees will be applied.

Spending Habits

Maintaining a debt free attitude means changing the way you spend. For instance, if you are prone to spending on credit cards then you need to take a realistic look at what credit spending actually is. Credit is simply a loan and the lender is asking for an extra amount back for supplying the loan. The shirt you have just purchased on a credit card actually means you are asking a lender for the money to pay for the shirt and are willing to pay extra to obtain it. If you had to physically meet your bank manager every time you needed an item on credit would you do this or would you wait until you had the money yourself.

No Credit Means More Money

It may sound contradictory but having no credit facilities actually means you will end up with more money. If you are debt free there will be no monthly repayments to make, no charges for late or missed payments and no interest fees to pay. The money in your bank account will be yours alone, and because this is the only money you have you will keep a closer eye on your spending. Impulse spending on credit cards is one of the major reasons that people find themselves in serious debt. Serious debt suits lenders; lenders actually want debtors to keep paying interest fees for as long as possible.

Your Money Not the Lenders

Imagine you received your monthly salary and once a month someone turns up at your office demanding a percentage of it. This is exactly what is happening when you pay back credit cards and loans. A debt free attitude means you will be keeping your money not giving a percentage of it to a lending company. Having the strength to say no to lenders when they offer you loans and credit will be the first step to a debt free life.

Recognise your Debt Triggers

If you are prone to impulse spending then look at the reasons behind your habit. Many people will buy unneeded goods on their credit cards simply to cheer themselves up. When the bill comes in at the end of the month this will only add to stress and the debt cycle will continue. Many people simply resign themselves to a life of debt and see the credit card balance as a mountain they will never overcome. Instead of spending on the credit card try reducing it as quickly as possible; this means always paying more than the minimum amount. Again, the minimum amount is designed by lenders to keep you paying interest for as long as possible.

A Positive Attitude

For people who are in serious debt a positive attitude may seem impossible to find. But debt problems can be overcome, and repaying debts consistently will alleviate the problem. It may seem that debts are with you for life but realistically it may only take a few years before you are rid of credit card and loan debts. It will take discipline and a strong will to avoid spending on credit, but the long-term positive aspects far outweigh the momentary pleasure of plastic spending.

Having a debt free attitude means that you have decided to take control of your financial life. It means that you are deciding exactly how and where you spend your money without giving a percentage to anyone else. Some forms of debt are always necessary such as mortgages. Others, such as credit cards are simply wasted money. Losing the monthly credit card statement will be one less financial matter for you to deal with and will ultimately leave you with more money.

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Good advice but there is another debt trap called " I deserve this" which is when you use debt to apparently "deserve" luxury items when you cant afford them or after something had happened that you dont like, say a bad day at work or stress after a week at work and you feel you "deserve" a particular item when if you are putting it on credit you cant afford it and it just causes a vicious cycle when next month when you are feeling down about having no money you seemingly "deserve" some other treat and put it on credit and so the cycle continues until someone is brave enough to break it.
jo-s - 16-Mar-11 @ 12:26 PM
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