Borrowing money. In my opinion, one of the factors which have brought our economy to its knees is instant gratification, which manifests itself in the irresponsible use of credit. The slogan “buy now, pay later” is an incredibly alluring and destructive way of life, leading to addictive behavior. More than 50% of divorces are caused by money issues (shopaholic activities, excessive spending and gambling), and if you do the research you’ll find that most wars have a financial component to them. Throughout time we have been warned, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” and “The borrower is slave to the lender”. In my book, that says it all!
There was a time when people took pride in saving, and we weren’t held captive to our credit scores, nor was there a need to restore our credit. We merely saved up for what we wanted or felt we needed. Regrettably, saving money is an almost obsolete concept; nevertheless, it can help you regain your financial stability. Consider these points:
1. There’s no need to shop for bargains if you’re going to pay with a credit card. On average, the price to borrow money (through credit cards) is 26%, where most markdowns average 5% to 20%. You do the math.
2. Don’t use the mall for entertainment purposes or because you’re bored. This only encourages impulse buying – the curse of every shopaholic.
3. Never shop without a list. This assures you only buy what you need and can afford.
4. Make sure you have the money to afford your list by keeping track of your bank balance. Use an old-fashioned checkbook ledger (free at your financial institution), and faithfully record all deposits and withdrawals. The difference between the two is your actual balance.
Most people have dug such a hole for themselves that they can’t climb out without assistance. There are some reliable and honest companies out there specializing in credit score restoration and debt reduction. Online Credit Strategies is a good place to start.