Monday, August 24, 2009

Step 2- Of Getting Out of Debt

Step 2: Discovering the Root of the Problem


“The deep root of failure in our lives is to think, ‘Oh how useless and powerless I am.’ It is essential to think strongly and forcefully, ‘I can do it’ without boasting or fretting.”

~ Tenzin Gyatso

The Discovering the Root of the Problem is the second step in the Janie's 6 Step Plan for Getting Out of Debt.

This is when you determine your relationship with money. How does it make you feel? Does money make you impulsive, scared, rich, out of control? Do you understand money?


My problem was that I was impulsive and I thought that I deserved to have nice things because of the stage of life that I was in. I had just graduated from college and I was on top of the world with lots of earning potential and tons of money. Right? Nope not true at all.

Actually, I had it all wrong. Just because I had a credit card didn't mean that I could afford to use it. It would have been smart to have the money in my bank account to back up the money that I was spending. I shouldn't just rely on potential future earnings at my job because I could lose my job. There are no guarantees in life.

I believed that I was $12,000 richer because that was my credit limit on one of my cards. In my mind, I had convinced myself that I was rich. To put it bluntly I was living WAY above my means.

Here I summarize for you the root of my own money problems:

  • I was impulsive and I thought that I deserved to have nice things.
  • I was on top of the world with lots of earning potential and tons of money.

  • I believed that I was $12,000 richer because that was my credit limit on one of my cards.

  • I did not understand money and I did not understand the consequences of my actions- with regards to credit.

  • I did not grasp the seriousness of my situation.

  • I did not have high self esteem, I lacked confidence, and I was lonely inside so I used credit and money to fill that void.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that I have action steps at the end of some of my posts. These are questions and activities for you to think about and write about in a journal. By answering these questions and keeping a journal you will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses in your thoughts, budget, and life. It will give you greater clarity and truth about yourself.

Now, it is your turn to determine the root of your money problems. Below are questions that I asked in previous posts to get you thinking and on the right track to figuring out your money woes.


1. Are your friends or family members toxic to your financial life?

Janie's Answer

2. Do you try to keep up with others (a.k.a keeping up with the Joneses)?

Janie's Answer

3. Do you have monetary jealousy?

Janie's Answer

4. Are you purchasing for retail therapy?

Janie's Answer

5. How do you feel when you are buying something?

Janie's Answer

6. Are you intimidated by money?

Janie's Answer

7. Do you think you are smart enough to learn about money and finance?

Janie's Answer

8. Are you overwhelmed and exhausted when you think about your finances?

Janie's Answer

9. Is your financial life simple or complicated?

Janie's Answer

10. Do you know where all of your important financial papers or online statements are located?

Janie's Answer

P.S. This list will continue to grow because of the evolving nature of this process and the Janie Out of Debt Blog.

You are on your way to finding the root of the problem. You are doing a great job!

Best wishes,

Janie


Note: The root picture that I used above is from How Stuff Works.

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