The Debt-Free Spending Plan

An Amazingly Simple Way to Take Control of Your Finances Once and for All

The Debt-Free Spending Plan

Author: JoAnneh Nagler
Pub Date: October 2012
Print Edition: $16.00
Print ISBN: 9780814432433
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814432440

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Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Debt is a killer. It’s a drag on our hearts and minds, an energy hog,

and a full-time guilt-making machine. It leads us in only one direction:

Down, into lives of worry, fear, and desperation. Even a little bit

of debt can cause us enough grief to agonize over, our heads swirling

in sleeplessness when we should be resting, our stomachs tied in

knots whenever we think about our finances.

We know—as anyone who has ever been in debt knows—the downside

of being in over our heads financially. It’s uncomfortable. It’s

painful. We can feel it right now, in our gut, and we don’t even have to

conjure up the details of it. Most likely it’s caused us to stay up nights,

grind our teeth, sweat bullets, overeat, have indigestion, break out in

hives, or some other version of physical or spiritual discomfort.

We know what it’s doing to us. But the worst part about debting

is that it’s not just exacting psychological and physical payments for

what we’ve done in the past. The horrendous worry comes from the

fact that we are still doing it.We are in debt, we keep debting, and we

don’t see a way out. Our expenses are greater than our income, we say.

So what else can we do?

We can even argue that we feel okay about it—“it’s just a board

game,” “what’s the big deal?” “I front myself money, then I pay it

back later. . . .” But we all know that being in debt does not produce

feelings of peace and well-being. If we’ve dug ourselves a hole,

debting against our home-equity line, running up credit cards or

project debting (as I did), these rationalizations just make our guilt

and self-loathing worse.

We can get philosophical and argue that the debting machine of

credit produces income for our economy—that it’s “just the way

things get done” in our cultural timeline, and we’re just a cog in the

wheel. We have to use credit cards. We have to be part of the

machine. And even while we vent such justifications, we take no

pleasure in being in debt, and we surely do not feel industrious for

having accrued it. And most of the time, we have no idea how we’re

going to pay all that money back.

So instead of feeling engaged and a part of our lives, we find ourselves

yearning for the proverbial “one day” when we might (1) make

twice as much money as we’re making now, (2) get bailed out by an

inheritance, (3) get a big pay-off from a “minor” car accident, (4) find

a bag of cash by the side of the road, or, depending on the magnitude

of the amount we owe, (5) escape to Bogotá for a lifelong visit. “One

day” makes us feel trapped today, and a lot of the joy we could be

experiencing in daily life vaporizes into worry over debt.

We may have tried credit consolidators, borrowing from parents

or friends, or getting an extra job to pay off creditors, and even when

we have been able to zero those balances out, a year, two years, four

years later we’re in debt again. “How did this happen?” we lament.

This is how it happened.

We got ourselves into debt for one simple reason: We have no

spending plan. We have no idea how much it really costs us to live,

what we’re able to live on, and what “wants” and “needs” we can

afford. We think budgets are constricting and want no part of them,

but our lack of spending clarity causes us even greater grief. We’re

afraid that if we look deeply into our finances we’ll never have

another luxury or fulfilled want for the rest of our lives.

The Debt-Free Spending Plan will help you end all of that. It will

help you take simple steps to stop running up debt, live within your

means, and start building something that’s meaningful to you. It will

offer you guideposts to funding what you want, as well as what you

need. It’s easy to use and specifically designed for people who tune

out when it comes to their money.

It does not require that you learn a special computer program. It

does not require that you live on noodles and toast. It does not

require any special skills besides the use of a calculator and basic

addition and subtraction. And it doesn’t matter whether you make

$14,000 or $14 million. If you can add, you can use the Debt-Free

Spending Plan to live free from debt for the rest of your life. I’m not

kidding. If you’ve had enough of the pain that comes from living in

debt, then read on. If you want to live free of worry over money and

start choosing where you spend your cash, then read on.

This book is for everyone, everywhere, who has believed that

money wisdom belongs to a special class of people with a special class

of skills. It doesn’t. It’s yours for the taking right here in The Debt-

Free Spending Plan.

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