What You Don’t Control Controls You by Pamela S Thibodeaux (c) 2015
Always chasing money? Seem like there’s a hole in your wallet or pocketbook? Is there more month than money in your house?
What you don’t control controls you and that is especially true with finances.
Money management is imperative in today’s world. You can’t get a loan without good credit. You can’t achieve a good credit rating without proper money management.
Many folks get so far down in the pit of debt they feel there is no way out – but there is always a way out. Hard work and discipline are the two biggest steps to taking control of your finances but here are a few more:
#1 Write down your expenses and categorize them in the order of importance. For example rent/utilities/groceries/insurance – these are NECESSARY expenses for the basics of life.
Things like cell phones, I-pods, cable or satellite TV, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, etc – are luxuries and if necessary to get out of debt should be cancelled. Even if you have to eat a contract charge, cancel these unnecessary expenses and pay that off – then once you are on your feet to financial stability, resume or renew some of these items.
You’ll be surprised how much simpler your life is without all these things that steal your focus and siphon your money.
Now I know exercise and entertainment are important for a balanced life, but think about the days when you didn’t have cable TV or gym memberships – where did you go? What did you do? Walk the dog, take the kids to the park, visit the library or the beach. There are numerous free or low cost ways to achieve R&R without being in debt.
Speaking of kids, is it ABSOLUTELY necessary for them to be involved in EVERY extracurricular activity they want and have EVERYTHING their friends have?
I don’t think so and by sharing the importance of good money management you’re teaching them a whole lot more than they learn by you giving into their every whim.
#2 List everything that isn’t “necessary” in order of lowest balance to highest with the minimum payment.
#3 Cancel ALL credit cards and revolving charge accounts! If you must have a credit card – have ONE and if possible, pay it off monthly. If this is not possible, keep the one with the lowest interest/balance and destroy all others. Credit card is the largest debt trap people fall into – the buy now, pay later is just too easy...until it’s too late.
#4 Set up a debt repayment plan. Contact creditors and negotiate the smallest amount possible to pay off the debt and stick to it! Faithfulness and consistency will go a long way in restoring your credit and most creditors will give you a second chance once they see you are responsible with your money.
One thing to remember, even if you’ve spent years without managing your finances properly, it is never too late to start and be a good steward of the things God has entrusted you with!
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has over twenty years experience in bookkeeping, insurance and tax preparation. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
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