Debt Relief from a Different Perspective

Debt Relief from a Different Perspective

Debt relief has many similarities to losing weight. When I sought out plans to lose weight, I understood the plan by the numbers, but I was never motivated enough to carry out the plan. There were two things I needed to get the process through my thick skull (and emotions) before I found success.

First, I needed to have a big why. Actually, I had two: (1) I want to lose weight to be able to travel more and enjoy those places by doing activities that I cannot do today. (2) I want to be able to enjoy physical activity and live longer so I can enjoy playing with my great-grandchildren without pain.

If you read my blog post: Get Out of Debt Fast! Your Why is the Way, you have already written down you why; this is the first secret to your successful debt relief. So, make sure to keep that piece of paper in front of you along the journey.

Secondly, I needed to see things from a different perspective. Losing weight was not all about me; I have a family to take care of. Losing weight helps reduce medical costs, lowers stress, allows me to work to my fullest, … on and on, I began to view things differently, then it happened, 2 and half months and 20 pounds later, I reached my goal!

Therefore, the second secret to your success in demolishing debt is that you need to look at budgeting differently.

A Different Perspective

In a great Biblically-based book named Men’s Manual, Volume 2 written in 1983, the author lays out 20 powerful principles for money management. If you are a lady, don’t fret. Though the book was written specifically for men, the principles are all effective no matter who uses them. I learn from books written for women all the time.

The twelfth fundamental truth in the book is Becoming Accountable to a Wise Record System, which lists 10 Reasons Why We Must Have an Effective Accounting System. These are so pivotal to a healthy financial foundation; I will list each of them with the key point for each noted below:

10 Reasons Why We Must Have an Effective Accounting System

(Men’s Manual, Volume 2, Published by Institute in Basic Life Principles; 4th edition, January 1, 1983)

  1. It lets us see what God has entrusted to us
    An effective accounting system goes much further than totaling our financial assets. It allows us to see and appreciate the larger scope of what God has entrusted to us.
  2. It motivates us to use what God has given to us
    Using what God has entrusted to us involves making wise investments. Our investments will witness for us or against us.
  3. It lets us know what we can exchange
    Without an effective accounting system, our collector’s instinct takes over, stifling creativity, eliminating resourcefulness, and allowing greed to go unchecked. As a result, we heap up things that have little or no value either for the present or for the future.
  4. It forces us to live within our means
    Wise planning involves knowing costs. This requires the skill of working out your own estimate of what it will require to do a job. Effective records will not only confirm the amount of funds needed but will indicate God’s timing.
  5. It prepares us to give an account to God
    An accounting system is a daily reminder that we must someday give a full and detailed account to God for all that He has entrusted to us. Accounting requires accuracy and faithfulness in little amounts as well as in large amounts.
  6. It establishes our character before [others]
    One of the most revealing tests of a [person’s] character is his attitude toward the use of money. Expect your financial dealings to be challenged. When you are accused, you must be able to defend yourself by proving that you have followed wise and accurate procedures in your finances.
  7. It confirms leadership in the family
    {paraphrased} It is not how much money the leaders of the family make which gives the family security, but how carefully and wisely that money is managed.
  8. It signals the need for future planning
    Planning ahead for needs, both seen and unseen, is not possible without an effective accounting system.
  9. It discourages theft of what we have
    Accurate accounting is essential to expose a thief, while poor records tend to encourage thievery.
  10.  It qualifies us for true riches.
    The first step to increase wealth is to keep account of everything that we earn and to put our money in an insured investment. The second step is to wisely manage our earning by making wise purchases. The third step is to be on guard against anyone who would take those earning from us.

As you can see, an effective accounting system is essential for GROWING a healthy present pocketbook position and will set you up to ZERO IN on your future financial fortune. Debt relief is achieved through this perspective though it may be different than what you were thinking.

This book goes into financial and spiritual wealth building in much more detail (a true “oldie but a goodie”). I highly recommend you find a copy of it and its accompanying video series.

Relief From Debt, There Are No Excuses Not To

Stressed

Many people get overwhelmed by the process of being financially accountable. By the way, most things that are important come with resistance. Debt relief is not an exception.

I have heard it all. Some people say they do not budget because they do not know how to. Some families say they do not budget because they are too busy. I read an article where a gentleman says he has so much wealth that he does not need to budget. One young man I know says he is not good at math. A past client exclaimed that she does not want to know the truth.

All these excuses are rooted in either overconfidence or fear. I assure you, everyone needs a budget, and there is nothing to be afraid of. I walked through strategies to make your budget a powerful tool in a previous post. Read the first of four parts here: Achieve Your Financial Goals Faster

You do not have to be a math genius. It is the super-smart person I have the hardest time guiding. Do not believe you know everything. “Always be learning.” If you can do 3rd-grade math, you will hard no problems. You left-brained folk can take a sigh of relief. You right-brained folks can close that Excel spreadsheet.

All habits begin with the first time

You need to begin with a budget today. Do not wait. It is that important. I have heard too many people say that they will do it next week, which turns into next month, which turns into … never. It is just like exercise. “I am going to the gym … someday” (the day that never comes).

Like many people who put it off, there are just as many who think that it is too late. It is never too late to build, or rebuild, your financial foundation. The only way you can mess this up is to not do it at all.

Knowing the truth will surely set you free. A budget is liberating. If you were building a house from the ground up, wouldn’t it feel good to know that this 5-bedroom, 3-bath beauty was being built according to your design? That is how retirement or going on vacation will feel when you know it is in the budget.

It Feels Good to be In Control

I remember back in the day when I had a checkbook. Once a month or so, I would bounce one of those bad boys, which mean that I wrote a check for an amount that was greater than the balance in my account.

Later, when I discovered Debit Cards, I would do the same thing, overdraw the account. That is because I had no foundation, no budget, and not much financial common sense.

I see people like this every day. It is far too common. Banks make more money on insufficient fund fees than they make on interest.

Now, I get a lot of push back from people who say they are “good” with their money. They never get NSF fees. So, “I don’t need a budget”, they say. But they do not see the whole picture.

This plan tells your money where to go (instead of wondering where it went, as John Maxwell says). You see, not overspending is just part of the benefits. The main emotional benefit is being able to see your way through future planned and unplanned expenses before they even happen.

Take Ownership of Your Debt Relief

One thing I learned in real estate school is that there are no two houses that are identical. The same holds true for budgets. Your situation dictates your budget, and no one else’s budget looks like yours. So, not only is it emotional, it is very personal; it is uniquely YOU. I believe therefore the first budget can be the most difficult for many people since there is no cheat sheet.

The first time I made a budget, it was painful because I was not accustomed to doing one. Do you remember how it felt when you learned how to ride a bicycle? it was ugly, right? I promise, the first time you design your budget, it is going to be wrong. You may have to revise it a time or two during the month. But it will get easier, just like riding that bike. Before you know it, it will be a natural part of your daily life. You will love being in control.

This is a critical area of not only debt relief, but your entire financial future. Why? Because it is truly your financial foundation, and although the storms of life will come, a firm foundation can withstand it all. A financial coach can help you, not only when you get stuck, but when you need someone to give you impartial guidance, which we all need.

Ultimately, a budget puts you in control. You get to dictate where those dollars end up each month. You get to decide if you are going to spend, save, give, or pay off debt. A budget does not restrict you. It gives you freedom. A budget is pivotal for demolishing debt!