Too often, we think that money management is all about paying bills on time and avoiding
late fees on our various debts. But when you have debt, it means that all you’re doing is
managing to spend and obligate your future money right now, which isn’t really what you
should be shooting for.
Getting Off the Debt Treadmill
Just because our society views debt as a natural part of finance, that doesn’t mean YOU have
to. You can go against the grain and stop letting debt control your life by taking one very
Don’t spend more than you earn.
At first, it may seem difficult—unnatural, even. When every store has its own credit card
offer, every car lot has its own no-money-down deal, and every cell phone company has its
own financing opportunity, it seems like taking on debt is a regular, expected part of our
consumer culture. And really, it is—but that doesn’t mean it’s good or that it should be the
norm. It’s just something we’ve all come to accept.
When you instead challenge yourself to only spend what you can actually afford—meaning
what you can pay for out of your current savings and income—you not only help get
yourself off the debt treadmill, you also get insight into any troubling spending habits you
might have adopted and you can truly see just how strong your financial situation is.
It’s not always easy to simply stop increasing debt, especially when you’re in the habit of
indulging yourself with credit card spending. One of the easiest ways to stop is by no longer
carrying credit cards with you when you go shopping. If you don’t have a card on you, then
you can’t spend money with it. For store cards, which can often be charged against even if
you don’t carry the card, avoidance of the store might be the best option, at least until
you’ve broken the habit of growing your debt.
Remember, financial empowerment comes from your savings, security and self-
reliance—not from the stuff you own. Get comfortable not spending your money and see
how big a difference it makes in your self-esteem, confidence and stress level.