Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trim It Tue$day

Did you know that the average American family carries $16,000 in credit card debt – not including mortgages, just unsecured debt? The USA currently is over $14 TRILLION in debt. I find it hard to wrap my brain around that number. To put it in terms that make sense to me, check this out:

If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, spending $75,000 a year, with $327,000 in credit card debt. Pretty sobering facts. (Thanks to Liquid Church for this breakdown in their video series BROKE, part 1). Now I’m not going to get into the politics of it all, but today I’d like you to join me in exercising our “stop spending” muscle. That’s the muscle by your elbow that you use to grab your credit card and hand it to the clerk!!!

Yesterday we talked about setting goals, and one of the examples I used was shooting to save a certain amount of money in the month of October. What I’d like you to do is seriously sit down in the next few days and figure out all your bills, including mortgage/rent, car payments, monthly living expenses (food, gas, cable, cell phone, etc.), and most importantly, all your credit card debt – including what the interest rates are – and if you don’t already have one, make a realistic budget. Then figure out how you can pay just a little extra on your credit cards each month in order to get them paid off a little quicker. Are there things that you currently consider “needs” that are actually just wants? Even if it's only $10/month extra, it's something. Just like behavior changes that you make when looking to become physically fit, it's not all done overnight. It's one pound at a time. It's no differnt when losing that financial burden. It can be scary… but it can be done.

Imagine a buff budget – a strong savings! An epic emergency fund! And if you’re interested in hearing more about it, I invite you to go to Liquid Church’s website and watch their video (finance and church?!?!?. Yep – no asking for money, just a very realistic and hopeful talk about money and some ways we can strength our personal financial muscles.



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