I wish I could say that I was not one of the inmates; but that would not be true.
When my wife and I were first married I worked at a fish market and she worked as a travel nurse.
We had just enough credit to buy a house (I consider this a legitimate debt) and rack up a few other small debts (less than $1,000.00).
When our first child was about to be born we decided we needed to purchase a camcorder on credit to record the anticpated event.
That was really the beginning of now more than a decade of ever increasing consumer debt in our family.
We have finally found some help. I hope you can appreciate this advice as we do.
The following is taken from a magazine article titled "Debt Addiction: You Can Break The Habit" by Jerry Mason.
The Credit Addiction Test
Have you become addicted to using credit? Answer the following questions to find out.
1) Do you make only the minimum payment due on credit card statements?
2) Do you have past-due bills for items bought on credit?
3) Are you tempted to consolidate your debts by taking out a home equity loan?
4) Do you find it impossible to save for long-term goals like education?
5) Do you and your spouse fight about borrowing money?
6) Is your budget tight because so much of your income goes to creditors?
Overcoming Debt Addiction
Step 1: Admit you have a debt problem.
Step 2: Get your spouse and children involved in your plan to get out of debt.
Step 3: Determine why you are in debt. Medical Bills? Lifestyle? Car/home repairs?
Step 4: Stop creating debt. Destroy credit cards and payoff home equity loans. I actually know someone who froze her credit card in a block of ice.
To use her credit card she had to thaw the ice. This gave her time to "cool off" before making a purchase she could not pay cash for.
Step 5: Use a budget. My wife and I spent one month writing down everything we bought in a ledger.
This helped us determine where all of our money went each month. I didn't realize I spent so much time at McDonalds.
Step 6: Develop a plan to eliminate consumer debt.
If you need help with getting out of debt and want to avoid bankruptcy, you may also want to contact a debt relief company. They can help you implement the steps outlined above.