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Monday, February 11, 2008

Debt Chain Freedom



Have you ever thought about quitting you job and doing something else, like writing or gardening or even working with the less fortunate? Why don't you?

Probably for two reasons: one, you have debts; two, you don't have the money to do that.

Those are the physical manifestations of having debt. Real life debt chains. The only way to free yourself is to break those chains.

To break the chains first you must Visualize your Debt. Think of every dollar owed as a link in the chain, every different debt is a chain each holding you down like a staked balloon. So if you have four credit cards to pay off, imagine four chains tying you to the ground.

I personally like to look at each of my debts that way. For example, I received my bill for my CitiBank Platinum Card. I continue to make the minimum payment on this as it is not my top snowball debt, yet! My bill showed I owed $9119. If i think of every dollar a 1 inch link, that is 759 ft of chain! But today I paid off $313, or 26 feet! so after I paid this I literally imagine cutting off that 26 feet of heavy rusty chain that was holding me down!

OK, I know it sounds weird, but for me I like to feel the following:

  1. Progress - Thinking about cutting of the 26' of chain feels like real progress to me.
  2. Value - I am freeing myself inch by inch! I am buying my freedom at $1/inch!
  3. Keeps me in Check - I don't want to add another inch to these heavy oppressive chains do I? So why would I take on extra debt?

For me this has really helped, just paying off dinners that I had 5-years ago doesn't make feel better. But every time I retire $1 I really do feel lighter!

Last whacky tip. Actually go to Home Depot or your local hardware store where they sell chain by the foot. Find the heaviest chain you can and buy one link. They will look at you a bit strange, but then keep that heavy piece of chain on your desk or wherever you do your bills. Every time you pay off even $1, pick up the link and feel the weight and think about that manifestation falling off of you. If you are tempted to spend, do the opposite, image all the extra feet of that chain tying you down.

This is a quick visual and sensory piece of conditioning that can help you stay on budget and manage your money better.

9 Comments:

Sharon said...

That is a great way to look at it. Actually, part of the reason I became so uncomfortable with our debt is that I was not liking my job. But because of our car payments and cc payments, I NEEDED to work. It definitely puts "chains" on you. Cutting the chains loose feels very good.

RacerX said...

"...not liking my job"

I know that feeling well. A quiet desperation!

Thanks for commenting!

Fiscal Musings said...

Interesting suggestion of buying a link of a chain. I don't think I'll be rushing to the store, but I get your point.

RacerX said...

The important thing is the visual. It is easy to lose perspective on how important paying off debt really is, as it can feel as though you are giving money over for nothing!

Thanks for commenting!

RacerX said...

Some say it is too obvious, but it seems to me the most obvious things are the ones we most often miss!

Thanks for visiting!

CatherineL said...

Hi, as you already know, I haven't worked for anyone else for years.

And I know the idea of giving up your job seems daunting when you have all those chains. But, it is honestly quite easy to motivate yourself to make money when you do, because you know you've still got bills to pay.

I know it may seem easy for me to say this, but I was in your situation once too.

RacerX said...

If I want to maintain lifestyle...like eating and stuff :) I need to jump to the next thing prepared. I will next own my next thing, but I have to break those chains!

Thanks Catherine! Always great advice!

wealthy_1 said...

I think about quitting my day job daily.

RacerX said...

Keep growing your blog and you can be next!

Thanks for visiting!

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