Money - Emotional Bondage
I’d like to write about the one thing many of us either gains or loses in our whole life. Money.
The word ‘money’ according to Brittania.com; is that it is the medium in which prices and values are expressed; as currency, it circulates anonymously from person to person and country to country, thus facilitating trade, and it is the principal measure of wealth.
How many of us have gotten into a ride of an emotional roller coaster when it comes to the topic of money? Some parts of our lives were so good with money – great job, a dream car, a beautiful home, amazing large circle of friends, endless day & nights of being out with loved ones spending money (that is hard earned of course), being supportive and contributing with family functions and occasions…
And then some parts of our lives were just the opposite – we lose a job, not able to pay for our car or home, we lose “friends” who were in our circle because we’re not equipped with money anymore – and this is where you could identify who your true friends were. We drifted away from our family because we’re too embarrassed to ask for help or feel we will be judged for not making our parents proud like the kid next door. We get into debts, we borrow money just to survive only to find we’re not even able to afford paying back what we borrowed or who we borrowed from. We become socially distanced and we coop ourselves in this small corner of the room in our own space because our bubble of happiness has burst.
Despite us admitting it or not, M.O.N.E.Y does contribute in making the world go around and it does affect one’s mental health and happiness. But, it is not the main reason we live for. Whether you are in either the good part or the bad part in life when it comes to money, here is a personal testimony from me that I experienced and how it took a definite 360 degrees change in my life.
I’ve lived alone and by myself since I was 18. I was not lucky enough to have financial support from my parents (another story all together for another day). Hence every day of my life since I was placed outside in the real world with no guidance and no support, I was given a dream every kid would every want. Freedom from parents. I got make my own rules as I went along with life and no one could stop me or control what I did or think anymore. Boy was I wrong!
We all know as humans, once that key of freedom is given to us, it’s not all bed of roses. You will get thorns too and the main thorn in my life as I was growing up – it was money. I didn’t have anyone teaching me or helping to ensure some part of my salary was saved, or 1/10 of my salary is to offer tithes in church or spend only when necessary. By mid of every month, I was broke and had maximized my credit cards. This was a vicious cycle every month until it broke me down and I found myself in depression and emotional bondage.
Thankfully, as I was faced with nothing else but a slice of bread on a plate and water in my mug, I surrendered myself to God and asked for direction as the thoughts of committing suicide was creeping into my mind. And I was sent an angel (my cousin) to help me build my life back again. I started praying more, going to church more, breaking the barriers of walls I built around myself and got socially involved through missionary works. And before I knew it, I was witnessing GOD’s work working through me preparing me to change my life for the better. I was financially equipped more to handle my finances and today I’m proud to say I’m almost debt free.
My advice to everyone is, if you are cornered, faced with a dead end on your finances or find challenges managing money and finding yourself in debts more than you can handle, I’m here to say you are not alone. At some point most of us have experienced or is experiencing this.
The first step is to admit you have a problem and identify what the root cause that made you be in this situation. If you face challenges, seek counseling.
Ways to Get Out of Debt (source from www.thebalance.com )
Stop Creating More Debt
This alone won’t get you out of debt, but at least your debt won’t get worse. When you continue adding debt while you’re paying it off, you won’t make much progress, if you make any progress at all. Reduce your temptation to create more debt by cutting up your credit cards or even freezing your credit.
Increase Your Monthly Payment
If you’re only paying the minimum on your debts, it will take the longest time to get out of debt. By the time you finally pay off your balance with minimum payments, you’ll probably have paid double or even triple what you originally charged. It’s only ok to pay the minimum on your credit cards when you have a debt-repayment strategy that requires you to make a big payment on one of your credit cards.
Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund may sound counterintuitive if you’re trying to get out of debt since you could be using that money to pay off your debt instead of sticking it in a savings account. But, an emergency fund can actually keep you from creating more debt by providing you with a safety net you can use instead of a credit card when an emergency comes up. The ideal emergency fund is six to twelve months of living expenses but focus on building up at least $1,000 in the short-term.
Pick One Debt and Give It All You've Got
Some people increase all their minimum payments by just a little bit, but that way your payments only drop by a small amount each month. You can make more noticeable progress by making a big payment to just one of your accounts each month until that debt is completely repaid. In the meantime, make the minimum on all your other accounts. Then do the same for another debt, and another until they’re all paid off.
Look for Ways to Put More Money Towards Your Debt
The more you put toward your debt, the faster you can pay your debt off for good. If you don’t already have one, create a monthly budget to better manage your money and possibly help you figure out how you cut out some expenses and use that money for your debt. You may also be able to come up with money for debt by selling things from your home or generating income from a hobby.
Settle with Your Creditors
Debt settlement may be the solution if your accounts are past due or you owe more money than you could repay over a few years. When you settle your debts, you ask the creditor to accept a one-time, lump-sum payment to satisfy the debt. Creditors who agree to a settlement offer also agree to cancel the rest of the debt, but they typically only accept these offers on accounts that are in default or at risk of defaulting.
Go Through Credit Counseling
Debt management plans through credit counseling agencies typically last four to six years. But, you can take use the lower interest rate and minimum payment they negotiate to pay off your credit cards by sending an extra payment every month. Let the credit counseling agency know which credit card they to send the extra payment to. This is basically the snowball method of paying off your debt, except the credit counseling agency is managing your payment.
Remember, “Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.” – Ogden Nash-