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Lots and lots of us are in debt, struggling to pay off student loans, car loans, television loans, video camera loans, fitness equipment loans and mortgages.
But the absolute worst has got to be credit cards for the false promise of wealth they instill; the magical thinking that accompanies them; the sense of wonder and invincibility they impart.
Ultimately, you end up paying the same $150 bill over and over and over again with no end in sight. If you continually use your credit cards without paying off the balance every month, you may just end up paying $150 to the same company, monthly, for the rest of your natural life.
Getting financial control is not easy. The main difficulty is that it requires one to live within one's means. As simple as this sounds, it is no easy feat. Most of us simply don't earn enough to buy the things we really want and have convinced ourselves that so many of these wants are actually needs.
Even parenting has become a far more expensive proposition than in years past, when electronic equipment and DVD's, and video and computer games can eat up hundreds or thousands of dollars in one year, depending on how much you indulge your children.
The fact of the matter is, using credit cards gives us a false sense of reality. When we are not pulling money directly out of our pockets in the form of cash, or directly out of our checking accounts in the form of a check or debit card, we are spending money that floats around in the atmosphere somewhere. It's fake, like Monopoly money, only it leads to a slavery of sorts that can last a lifetime.
In order to get financial control in your life you need to do three things:
1 - Stop using all credit cards
2 - Live only within your means - spend only what you make
3 - Create a budget for spending, including how you will begin to whittle away at your debt, and stick to it. Do anything necessary, including giving up things you think you need but that are actually things you want, like eating out, expensive shows, clubs, drinks, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, new books instead of library books, etc.