You are hung over from a highs of financial gluttony caused by the Christmas Holidays. Your kids have more toys than Santa, your wallet is in the the Intensive Care Unit of the local hospital, and using your credit card one more time might get you arrested.
How did this happen? How do you recover? Here is a crash course on Financial Liposuction, provided by your friendly Financial Physician. The process is sort of like regular lipo, just a bit more painful.
1) Find out the reasons for the financial binge that happens every Christmas. You always regret it at the end, but you keep doing it. Like any spendaholic, if you don’t find the reasons for your gluttony, you will be forever gluttoned (sounds slimy doesn’t it?). The reasons you overspend are between you and Dr. Phil, but some psychological house cleaning might be necessary. Filling a bucket does nothing if you never find the leak.
2) Engage in financial anorexia for about 3 months – You spent more money than NASA last month, now it’s time to deny yourself a few things. Cut any excess fat from your budget, and consider even slicing at the bone. Pay necessary bills only, give yourself no credit card access, and keep a limited amount of cash in your pocket. You may even want to have your spouse put a WANTED poster of you in all major department stores, it’s for your own good.
3) Cut one of your favorite credit cards. You have been in an abusive relationship with this credit card for far too long. It is time for you to have the courage to walk away. Yes, you and this card have been through alot, and I know you’ve created alot of financial babies together, but there are more loving credit cards out there. Once you are financially prepared for a new relationship, you can move forward. No deceptive hidden fees. No emotionally draining high interest. You can have the kind of relationship that a spender should have with a favorite card.
4) Take a new lease on life by finding ways to increase your income. There are only two ways to stay in your budget: cut costs, or increase revenue. As the rapper Snoop Dog says, “You have to pay the cost to be the boss.” If you can find another way to make extra money, then you have earned the right to be a bit more financially chubby. Those who do the most exercise are allowed to have bigger meals.
5) Forgive yourself. You are human. Our most valuable lessons come from our most costly experiences. If this bad experience keeps you from ever doing it again, then it was worth it. But if you are back in financial rehab this time next year, then we DEFINITELY need to talk! Remember: To err is human, but to err repeatedly is asanine. Keep making progress.