According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
I wish this was a new development, but in reality it’s been going on for some time. I recall a similar statistic almost 15 years ago when I began teaching on personal finance. The truth is there’s a lot of temptation today to live beyond our income. With the easy access to credit cards, store credit being pushed from every retailer, student and personal loans, no wonder so many Americans get in over their heads.
When I was in my early 20’s I made a lot of self-gratifying spending decisions. I spent all I made and then used credit cards when I ran out of cash and didn’t want to wait to buy what I wanted. I was young and immature. I also had no financial education and didn’t understand the financial implications of my overspending. By my mid-twenties I had overextended myself to the point that I began to struggle making ends meet. The financial stress and anxiety motivated me to make some changes. It was time to grow up! I was sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
If you’re one of the 78% there’s a way to get in the top 22%. It’s important to note that out of those surveyed, 71% were in debt, with more than half (56%) of them struggling to manage their debt. It stands to reason then that dealing with the debt can be a significant part of the solution.
Get Out of Debt - Here’s how
Getting out of debt requires two things:
1. You need a plan for getting out of debt. Don’t hire some shark (debt negotiation) or a third party (debt consolidator) to help you get out of debt. No one works for free! And the last thing you need is to pay someone money you don’t have to fix your debt problem. More importantly, if you give your problem to someone else to fix, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and you’ll be more likely to repeat them.
2. You need the fortitude (discipline) to follow through with your debt repayment plan. I can help you with the plan but you’ll need to decide if you’ve had enough pain and if you’re ready to do something about it. I believe you can!