Focus on Your Finances, Not the Economy

Some people look at today's economy as a curse. But more and more, I'm starting to see it as an excuse - a scapegoat that's holding us back from financial freedom.

In all fairness, I will admit that the state of the economy has an effect on our finances. It can contribute to a lost job (or trouble finding a new one), a home loan worth more than your house or the drastic decrease in the value of your investments. But it isn't the only effect. You know how good memories tend to strengthen with time, while the bad memories fade? Well, I think that's what has happened with the recession. We tend to forget that many of us had financial troubles before the economy went to hell in a handbasket.

Life wasn't always peachy prior to the recession. And it won't miraculously become peachy once the economy recovers (which could be soon, according to this Atlanta Business Journal story). But, believe it or not, that's actually a good thing.

Let me explain. Most people (myself included) were addicted to credit cards long before the recession. And since most of us made the smallest payment possible on our credit card bills, we covered little more than interest - meaning our debt burden would have continued to grow indefinitely. So even if the recession never happened, even if economic growth was still robust, our debts would have eventually caught up with us. We'd still be struggling to make the house payment and buy gas, food, insurance and all those other necessities as our debts grew bigger and bigger. Though it sounds hopeless, it's actually hopeful because it means that our financial health doesn't depend on the economy - it depends on our own decisions.

If you reduce your debts, you're going to save money - period. It's a given, whether economic times are good or bad. Paying less interest means more cash for the mortgage, car loan and any other bills you have, both today and in the future. All you have to do to get started is stop spending more than you earn. Find little ways to cut back and apply that savings to your monthly debt payments. If you can't budge your budget another inch, consider a debt relief option like bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can give you a realistic way to reduce debt while protecting you from creditor actions, including foreclosure.

At DebtStoppers, we can identify a bankruptcy plan that fits your needs when you sign up for a free one-on-one debt analysis with one of our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. So you can find the financial relief you need, regardless of what state the economy is in. No more excuses.

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