The average American cardholder carries more than six credit cards and has a household debt of more than $10,000. Popular financial books and financial companies say there is good and bad debt.
Bad debt happens when we become dissatisfied where we are in life therefore we buy things that may make us happy and satisfied for a while and includes things which does not have a lasting value. Bad debt depreciates very quickly. Examples are clothes, electronics, and vacation trips. Good debt is anything that can’t be afforded to pay up front without wiping out cash reserves or liquidating all investments. Good debt may help leverage future financial position. Examples are mortgages, business and school loans. In the end, if debt cannot be controlled there is nothing good about it.
When we are indebted with debt (bad or good), we are told how to spend our money, what to spend it on, and where to spend it. As a result, debt becomes our master. Freedom from debt involves us doing anything that we desire such as taking vacations, saving for retirement, giving to those less fortunate or starting that business that changes your family legacy. Conquering debt results in freedom for us and others. Here are some helpful tips if you are serious about eliminating debt to start the family legacy:
• Pay it off – Compile a list of all debts from the smallest to the largest in value and pay off the smallest value until you get to the larger value debt. By doing so, you will become motivated and improve your situation. The more you pay off, the quicker you will get to your legacy.
• Keep one card – Determine which credit card can be kept for emergency and destroy the rest. To ensure no additional debt accumulates, pay off the balance off each month. If this is not possible, switch to a debit card. Debit cards could control spending since it’s taken from a checking or savings account.
• Help someone – Occasionally help others to pay off debt if you feel in your heart to do so.
• Sell something – What things in your house are causing pain and anguish? Sell it and pay your debt. You could eliminate debt by selling stuff in your house, in a garage sell or eBay.
• Call your creditors – Don’t be afraid to call your creditors. Kindly tell them your situation and ask them if they are willing to accept a payoff. It works.
• Pay cash – Convert to paying cash for all future purchases. There is a freedom in knowing that you are no longer tied to the plastic. Show your strength by using cash for those purchases.
• Pray for patience – Patience is the key. Let patience have its perfect work (James 1:4). Patience does not have a timeline – you will get out of debt.
Following these steps has allowed my family to become better stewards of our money. Eliminating debt is not only for your family but its purpose in your hands can reach people and places that have a need. Challenge yourself the rest of the year to start that legacy.
Make it a great day!
Cedric Dukes is an internationally known author, speaker and leader.