Before You Buy: Know What You Can Afford
Don't buy what you can't afford. Simple, right? Well, sort of. While restricting spending to the boundaries of a paycheck is the foundation of money management, actually doing it can be extremely difficult. One reason is the growing belief that living in debt is unavoidable and acceptable. And though changing that attitude is hard, it can be done.
Though the average per-household consumer debt currently exceeds $8,400, balances in the six-figure range are not unheard of. Credit cards have morphed from their true purpose as a convenient payment tool to instant emergency account, holiday bonus, vacation fund, and salary increase all rolled into one.
Having consumer debt is generally not fun. In fact, it may cause you to be stressed and worried, even losing sleep. It may also make it difficult to save for such things as retirement and higher education.
How do you reverse the trend? Here are some ways:
If you are unable to cover your expenses, get help. NuVision offers BALANCE, a free Financial Fitness Program to help keep you on track. If you are contemplating a purchase that is outside of your means, BALANCE can work with you to develop a budget. Contact BALANCE at www.balancepro.net or call 800.808.4327.
- Refute the idea that maintaining debt is inevitable and just another way of managing money.
- Redefine yourself as a "saver" rather than a "consumer."
- Relish the feeling of living within, rather than beyond, your income parameters.
- Accept that you may not be able to have everything you want (or even need) today, and that a quick cash fix won't really bail you out of a bad situation, it will just make the following month more difficult.
- Borrow only when you are absolutely certain you can repay the entire balance when the bill comes in.
- Reject the idea that it is your responsibility to keep the economy rolling. It is not. It is to save for (rather than borrow from) tomorrow, so you and your family can be financially independent, prepared and secure.
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NuVision Federal Credit Union
7812 Edinger Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.