- Author: Gail Vaz-Oxlade
Book online «Debt-Free Forever Gail Vaz-Oxlade (best ereader for epub TXT) 📖». Author Gail Vaz-Oxlade
Take Control of
Your Money and Your Life
I dedicate this book to all the people with whom I’ve worked who had the courage to hang out their dirty laundry where everyone could see. It is because of your bravery, your willingness to share your stories, and your hard work that we’ve all learned so much about debt and how to get out of it. And to all the people who are busting butt to get from Debt Hell to Debt-Free Forever, I applaud your guts and your gumption. You have such a great life ahead of you!
Introduction: Get Ready to Change
PART ONE: FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU STAND
1: Analyze Your Spending
2: Face Up to Your Debt
PART TWO: MAKE A PLAN
3: Decide What You Really Want
4: Create a Budget That Balances
5: Lose the Debt!
PART THREE: CHANGE YOUR HABITS
6: Make More Money
7: Shop Consciously
PART FOUR: PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE
8: Save for the Long-Term
9: Build an Emergency Fund
10: Plan Like a Pessimist
11: Cope When the Caca Hits the Fan
PART FIVE: STAY THE COURSE
12: Stay Debt-Free
Conclusion: Take Control … Really!
Negotiate a Debt settlement
About the Author
About the Publisher
INTRODUCTION GET READY TO CHANGE
Imagine waking up in the morning and knowing that no matter what happens today, you can cope. Imagine that you’ve got enough money to take care of the expenses that need to be paid regularly and to have some fun too. Imagine the sense of peace that comes from knowing you’re in control of your life.
If you’ve been frantically trying to cover your butt because there just never seems to be enough money, I can help you. If you’re up to your eyeballs in debt and can’t even imagine being debt-free, I can help you. If you’re at your wits’ end because you’ve made a huge mess and don’t have a clue how to fix it, I can help you.
I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that if you’re reading this book, you’ve made a mess of your money. Hey, it happens. Staying mired in misery is one option. Pulling up your socks, dusting off your britches, and getting to work to dig yourself out is another. You can wallow or you can work hard. You can whine or you can make your life what you really want it to be. You’re the person who gets to decide whether you’re happy listening to Mother Regret whispering about all the mistakes you’ve made or whether you’re done with the past and are ready to focus on creating the life you want today!
I’ve been working with people for years, showing them how to fix what’s broke and have a life too. I believe you can have anything you want if you’re willing to do what it takes to create it—and I can help you figure out exactly what you want and how to get it!
Ready to get with a new program? I’m going to warn you now that this is going to be very, very hard. Change usually is, and the kind of change you’re going to have to make is monumental. There will be loads of sweat, and maybe even some tears, along the way. But if you’re dead sure that you want a better life, and if you’re ready and determined to take control of your money, then you can. All you need is a good understanding of what to do and some skills to get to where you want to be. I’m going to give you both.
Whether you’re trying to get to debt-free, establish an emergency fund for the first time, or make a commitment to live on a budget, your approach is what will make you successful. Be ready to take these steps:
STEP 1: ANALYZE YOUR WEAKNESSES
If you love to shop, and you acknowledge that fact, you should also see that hanging out at the mall isn’t exactly conducive to a No Shop plan. If you love to eat out and always agree to meet friends in a restaurant, you’re simply reinforcing your weakness.
One of the best ways to fight old habits is to recognize the underlying pleasure you derive from them and to then change your environment so you aren’t tempted.
STEP 2: DO ONE THING AT A TIME
If you get so caught up in making things better that you try to do too much, you’ll split your energy and focus and wear yourself out. To be successful at making change stick, pick something you want to do differently today, and do that thing. Once that new pattern is established, pick the next thing you’re going to do. This will stop you from shooting off in all directions and achieving nothing.
STEP 3: TAKE SMALL STEPS
Hand in hand with the “one thing at a time” philosophy is the “baby steps” strategy. If you’ve always been comfortable doing things in a certain way, it’s hard to change. Always buy whatever you want whenever you want? It can be hard to quit cold turkey. Establishing a No Shop day is one way to start slowly. No Shop Saturday can grow into No Shop Friday and Saturday. The change doesn’t have to be drastic to be profound. Small steps get you to where you’re going without the risk of sliding back.
STEP 4: DEMONSTRATE STICK-TO-IT-NESS
If you don’t have the persistence to stay the course, it’s pretty hard to succeed. A lack of gumption is the only barrier between you and what you want to achieve. You’ve got to be a hard-headed hard ass and demonstrate determination. Each step you take will create the momentum for the next step.
STEP 5: SET MILESTONES
If you want to maintain momentum, you’ve got to create a map for where you’re going, and you have to take pleasure from each milestone you pass. Change is hard. Rewarding yourself with a pat on the back when you achieve a goal is the best way to keep moving forward.