Saturday, February 1, 2014

Debt and Diet: Both Four-Letter Words

Recently, I created a video for the Dave Ramsey Show where I talk about how my weight loss journey was closely related to getting out of debt.

I did both at the same time.  It took 3 1/2 years to lose almost 400 pounds. It took 4 years to "lose" $60,000 in debt (most of it credit cards.)

I ran across an article today on Time.com that is filled with so many myths, I had to write about it.  The article is about how half of America lives paycheck-to-paycheck.

I used to live paycheck-to-paycheck.  I don't anymore.  I made a choice.

So what changed?

Just like with the weight, I decided I had enough.  NO MORE.  No more being broke on payday.  No more blowing through thousands of dollars and having nothing to show for it.  No more being subservient to the credit card companies and banks.

No more calling and begging for a credit line increase because I had an emergency.  No more.

No more.

Here is what I figured out:  being broke and in debt is a choice.  It was a choice I was making on a daily basis. It was a choice I made for the first 37 years of my life.

 No more.

So back to this ridiculous article in Time.  I take issue with the following statement:

"The plight of these folks is compounded by the fact that the recession ravaged many Americans’ credit scores to the point that now 56% percent of us have subprime credit. That means that if emergencies arise, many Americans are forced to resort to high-interest debt from credit cards or payday loans."

Pardon me if my head explodes. Replace "are forced" with "choose" and I'm OK with the above statement. What you need in an emergency is CASH.  Real MONEY.  Money you have consciously and intentionally set aside for actual emergencies. The absolute last thing any of us need in an financial emergency is more debt.

In other words, we choose to be broke.  We choose to live from paycheck-to-paycheck.  Just like I chose to be in debt for years.  Just like I chose to weigh almost 600 pounds.

It's our choice to make.  Let's make a better one! 

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