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Monday, June 13, 2005

Just got out of debt? How to stay off the bench

Starting over. Great, you’re out of debt. You haven’t used your credit cards in a while, and you’ve just made that last payment to the balance. Now what?

It’s a level playing field. It’s as if you’re a ML baseball player and there are no more steroids in baseball. The fans are still there though, clamoring for longer home runs more than ever before. If you can’t beat the record, you’ll never be out on top. If you don’t buy the large screen tv, the big house, the hot car, you’ll never keep up- those fans are there too.

You need to recognize where you are now and what is important to you. Just because ‘everyone else’ is still clamoring for more, doesn’t mean you have to. A home run just has to be over the fence. It doesn't have to be in the parking lot. A nice steady savings and retirement fund growth is just what you need, anything else is extra bases.

Ok, I could go on but I'm tired of the baseball analogy. Repeat after me, the way to stay out of debt is the same way I got out of debt. You can use your credit cards, but pay off that balance monthly.

I’m still in debt now, but I’m keeping mental notes about how painful this whole experience is. It really is a terrible process to climb out of debt if you wait to long. When I’m done with this, I’ll remember the sacrifices every time I reach for a credit card.

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