What Debt Promises

What I can promise you debt will bring if you don’t manage debt and let debt manage you!

For so many people in this world, debt can be debilitating. Shopping with friends and you get asked: “would you like to apply for a credit card?” You qualify and here we go.

Most young people are never really taught the importance of good credit and managing money properly.

Debt – noun

something, typically money that is owed or due.

credit card, credit card bill, bankruptcy

Here are the promises debt makes and will keep:

  1. Constant stress over how you will pay your credit cards or other bills at the end of the month.
  2. Family stress. The number one killer of marriages is money. Buy homes we cannot afford, cars, furniture, clothes, on and on. Until the end of the month, and the dining table is covered in bills!
  3. Parents working one or two jobs to make it from one paycheck to the next. Waking up to find children grown and bitter. Why? You were never there! To busy trying to make a living, you forget to have an experience.
  4. The barrage of endless phone calls letting you know the obvious. You’re behind and we need a payment!
  5. Picking which bill gets paid and who does not get any money this month.
  6. Food vs. Credit
  7. Feeling as though one wrong move and financially, you are ruined. Stress beyond limits!
  8. Dark moments, suicidal thoughts all over bills.
  9. Keeping up with the Jones’s only to find ourselves in bankruptcy.
  10. Bad credit and loss of buying power. High rates of interest.

Imagine someone in your family deathly ill and you cannot come up with the money to travel. Another of debt’s promises!

Emotional purchases will sink your financial boat the quickest.

For example:

You go into a car dealership to buy a new car. You have a budget and payment in mind. Shopped online and narrowed down your search. All good stuff.

Upon arrival at the dealership, you begin to browse. “Wow look at this color, look at this car, check out these accessories.” All, of course, are on vehicles outside your budget. The internal battle begins. Metaphorically we’ve taken a raging alcoholic into a bar and said, don’t drink anything I will be back in an hour to pick you up! Only to come back and find your alcoholic passed out drunk.

If you do not control your spending, your debts will overtake your life. Guaranteed! Not too many things in this life come with a guarantee but debt does.

I have worked around consumer credit for thirty years now. Debt has also overtaken my life because I allowed it to get totally out of hand. The ten promises above are indicative of my own life. Poor choices have cost me plenty.

Parents or young people starting out. Educate yourself about credit and debt. Buying that beautiful $300 shirt that will make you look amazing. Won’t look so amazing at the end of the month if the money is not there to pay for it.

Sure, you can make the minimum payment and the $300 shirt becomes a $2000 shirt. Do the math on 26% interest and see what happens to the cost of just one item. Living paycheck-to-paycheck over several years. Chipping away at maxed-out credit cards will overtake your financial life.

Properly managed credit will make sure that your life will be filled with joy. Buying power and forethought to pay will allow you to own homes, cars, beautiful furniture, and other assets. With little to no stress.

TAKE EMOTION OUT OF ANY FINANCIAL EQUATION!

It does not sound fun, but the wake behind poor decisions can last years. Worse still ruin any chance you have of being a homeowner.

Imagine a mortgage broker coming back to you and saying, “unfortunately, YOUR credit will not allow us to give you a loan.” Devastating. Your credit prevents you and your spouse from homeownership. Sounds damned harsh because it is.

What can help:

  • Check out books by great financial folks like Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, let experts guide you.
  • Check out the credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian. Lots of excellent free resources.

If you have credit issues, you can recover. Start back small and work your way again. There is always hope and with diligence, you will be back on track.

Questions or comments:

Work, Work, Work

Knowing today what I do with respect to my career, wow is their so many changes I would have made well before now. This article I hope speaks to young men and women early on in their careers. Working twelve, fourteen or longer hour days. Work, work, work, work, work!

 Jerk bosses will tell you to put in the hours to get ahead, while their ass is at home with family. Or out having a life. Sure, does have to be paid but don’t get lost in a Myer of work = money = life. What good is money if you don’t have a life? The million-dollar question: Life-Work – Balance.

Background for me early on. Working in automotive retail eight AM to nine + PM six days per week. Don’t even think about a day off or vacation. My sons first basketball game I was literally thrown a box on my desk told to pack my shit and go to the game. Or get my ass back to work! What do you do? Retail is a brutal industry, that is very unforgiving.

family,spiritual,kids

The incident I had with a boss with my sons first game was just the tip of the iceberg throughout my automotive career that has spanned thirty-five years. I lost a lot of firsts, family milestones, a life, and burned through a couple of marriages quickly. Damaged my relationship with my kids and the list goes on.

It was only too easy to fall into the trap of work, work, work. My argument with my family is “if I don’t work you don’t have a life.” Looking back at how shortsighted that statement really is. What a stupid move. Sure, every man does what he has to in order to provide for his family. Looking back my family was more interested in having me than the money. My dumb ass chose the money.

One thing I have come to learn in my life is you have choices even when you think you don’t. What I mean by this. Don’t forget to have a life while you’re providing for your life. Easier said than done, pardon all the cliches in this paragraph.

Here is my challenge to leaders in organizations. Let’s say that I am a member of your management team. I want to go see my kid play whatever. If you’re the ass hole that says no. My question would be your such a shitty manager that one person off your floor is going to destroy your day. What you’re telling me if I was the owner of this business. If we let one person off for a few hours, my business is going to stop?

The person asking off has such an impact on my business that he can’t be gone for a few hours? This is what you’re telling me? We’re going to screw up the head of one of our best players who must tell his child he can’t do this or that because he has to be at work. As a leader, you should have depth in your bench to move players around, so my business does not suffer. What do we do on sick days? Shut down because XYZ employee is not at work???

Companies are running sales teams, for example; if you can’t be short a guy or two and still not run at peak performance, I am going to look at my leaders and say you may not be the right fit. My teams can operate fully staffed or short-handed period.

Not allowing an employee a few hours now and again to enjoy family events that if allowed will bring back to me a better person. Parents who are proud, not stressed about not being there. How much more am I going to get out of someone who is happy than sad? If you can’t figure that out, you’re too stupid to work for me. Business can be hard, let’s not make it harder because of short-sightedness.

Most of this must be a leadership change. A culture change that hardliners are going to buck. Leaders must be able to move players around, fill holes, adapt. This is what makes a great coach; he does not focus 100% of his attention on his starters, he has a bench so he can adapt to change at the speed of business.

This has been what leaders should do. What can you do if the corporate culture you work in is unforgiving? If you find yourself in a job that it’s a brick wall when it comes to time off for life events.

Here are some not the most ideal way but a way:

  • Take a vacation day. You don’t necessarily have to say why just ask for a vacation day in advance of your family event.
  • See if you can get someone to cover your shift. Another parent is always a good person to ask. Trade shifts with a coworker.

If the business you work in is simply inflexible, it may be time to consider a different company. Jobs come and go but time with your family cannot be replaced. Believe me; I pay the price for that every day. Do over; I would have taken a different path.

It’s nauseating to me when I hear so-called Guru’s say you must pay an ultimate price for success. That the only path to success is at the expense of your life. If you’re chasing that Unicorn, it takes years to achieve real success and wealth. Just as you plan your career path, you need to do the exact same for your family and children.

  • Birthdays you can’t get back.
  • First Recital you can’t get back.
  • First Football game you can’t get
  • The first day at school you can’t get back.

Don’t fall into the trap of justification. You cannot justify to a child why you missed so much of their lives; they simply don’t care about your excuse. What they want is you not an excuse. After thirty-six years in business, I can tell you NOTHING was ever worth missing my family milestones. Don’t pay the same price, so many of us pay every day.

Jobs are a touchy thing for obvious reasons. Your life is also important. Think about this are you living to work or working to live? With proper time management and a little creativity with coworkers, you can find a work life, home life, balance!

At the time I wrote this I was fifty-six years old. The biggest regret I have is not taking time for my life and putting work before everything else. All the times that I stayed at work when I should have been living my life. I’m in NO way better off because I did, quite the reverse. Don’t think that money will make up for lost time it does not. Don’t think your kids are better off because you have money, ask them and I can promise you they want YOU not your money.

Don’t get me wrong we all need a job to take care of our families. Just don’t lose your family trying to take care of your family.

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