When was the last time that you stopped to visualize what your life would be like without debt? Take a moment before continuing on to visualize this scenario; your debt has all been paid off including your mortgage, you have begun to save and have accumulated wealth for your future financial goals and you are living without the constant worry of debt or monthly budgeting. To actualize this visualization, you must establish our reasons for financial change and make a personal commitment to take required action.
Establishing Your Reasons for Financial Change
The first step in the process of becoming debt free is to understand what your personal motivation for change is. If you are not motivated to make changes and willing to commit to the process, you will have trouble achieving the results that you are seeking.
Ask yourself the following questions to better understand what your level of personal commitment is to making this financial change:
o What will change within your life when you become debt free?
o If you did not have any debts, what financial goals would you save towards? Your future financial goals are a significant piece of your motivation for change.
o How committed are you to working through the process necessary to become debt free? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to work through the financial process of becoming debt free?
o How you will you feel if you do not achieve your future financial goals? Or, how will it feel if you have to drastically reduce or change your financial goals?
o What obstacles may get in your way of achieving these financial goals?
To take the concept of personal commitment to financial change further, it is important to understand more fully what the consequences are of not becoming debt free and of not working towards achieving your personal financial goals. For so many of us, carrying a consistent balance on our loans or credit cards has become common practice. But, are we really aware of the financial, personal and health consequences we are causing for ourselves by carrying such debt?
How is carrying consumer debt balances affecting your financial health? Consumer debts can include credit cards, personal signature loans, home equity lines of credit, auto loans and your mortgage. Unlike other consumer debts, a portion of the annual interest that you are paying towards your homes mortgage may be tax deductible. Even though you are possibly receiving some tax benefits for carrying a mortgage, paying this debt off quickly will reduce the overall amount of money that you pay towards your home as you will be reducing the total interest paid.
It is estimated that the average American has in excess of $ 6,000 in credit card debt and that this number is rising annually. Not only does rising debts increase our monthly payment requirements, but it increases the amount of total payments made towards the purchases over time due to the interest that each credit card company applies to our unpaid balances.
Financial pressures can increase stress felt by the body. While most of experience stress on a daily basis from a variety of sources, most of us are not aware of the potential damage this is causing to our health. Stress is often referred to as 'the Silent Killer' as many health symptoms go unnoticed until it is too late to address them.
Prolonged stress has been linked to the following health issues:
o Heart disease
o Increased blood pressure
o Decreased immune system function
Proper stress management, including the management of ones financial health can reduce or prevent many of these health conditions.
Creating Your Own Commitment for Financial Change
Now that you have considered some of the reasons behind why you should create your personal commitment for change, it is important to actually create an official document. Those individuals who write down goals and commitment statements are significantly more likely to achieve them.
You can become debt free! But, you must understand why you are willing to make this financial change. And, you must make a realistic personal commitment to taking action.