Before It Becomes A Big Problem

Here’s a sweet testimonial from a young woman who is going to lead a very happy, financially successful life!

Dear Pam,

I want to say thank you for taking the time to write and record the Good Book. Although my finances are not all that bad, you are helping me to stop certain issues before they become serious problems.  I am a 26 year old full-time college student.  My income is limited to the allowance my father gives me. However, I have a family credit card. The bill is paid in full every month but my father expects me (fairly) to repay him. Fortunately he doesn’t charge any interest. I’m very lucky as far as my circumstances go but I have racked up a pretty significant debt to him over the years I’ve been in school. I am engaged and my fiancé is the one who takes responsibility for paying what we owe (many of the charges were things for him or both of us; we’ve been together for the last 8 years).

The only real hardship in our situation is that my father can be very negative and verbally abusive about our financial behavior. I’m the first to admit that I’m not perfect, but it is hard to move forward with him telling me that I will never amount to anything and will always be deep in debt. Because of his negative attitude, I’m very eager to pay back what we owe and finally move into a place of our own. My fiancé has a decent full time job (very much entry level, he just graduated from college last year) working for a debt collection law firm representing the credit cards.  If we are unable to break the bad habits now, we could be in serious trouble later. He would certainly lose his job. So I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to change our thinking and behavior before it ever comes to that.  I have recently gone back to asking for my allowance in cash and making a point to only use the card for purchases that go for the family and are thereby not my financial responsibility.  It has already made a world of difference.  Now we can focus on paying down our debt instead of adding to it.

Here’s my question.  The cash flow for myself and my fiancé is very limited.  We don’t have the cash for the things my inner brat wants to buy but can’t afford.  Should we write credit slips to ourselves?  I have a receipt book that might work.  The only caveat is that I wouldn’t be able to actually “save” the money (in a saving’s account) since it never really existed in the first place.  Do you have any suggestions? 

Thank you so much,
Michelle A.

Here’s what I answered Michelle.

Yes, here’s what you do, (oh this is so good for kids like you who are into the purchasing phase of your lives) say you see sheets and pillow cases on sale (White Sales are on now) and you want them! You think about it and know you don’t have to have them, you’d like them, but you don’t need them unless you’re sleeping on just the mattress.  Say the sheets are $49, you could write $49 in your receipt book and every once in a while tally up what you would have spent!  I have done a similar thing in my weight loss book The Mouth Trap.  I keep track of the calories I DON’T eat. Nelly, my inner child, LOVES to see how good she is being!

When you want something, start saving for it while you research the best buys.  Always consider Goodwill, Craig’s List (I was shocked how much of the stuff is free on that list and people are just wanting to get rid of stuff and don’t want to mess with pricing).  It sounds like your fiancé is going along with you and together you two are going to have a wonderful, financially fabulous life together.

To purchase The GOOD Book: Get Out Of Debt click here!

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