Another Big Brother season is underway and viewers are still gripped by the gradual (and sometimes quite dramatic) psychological demise of people who appeared to be living on the edge to begin with. Itís easy to tune in and gaze in disbelief at the people who have chosen to put themselves in this bizarre position all for the sake of the elusive prizes of acceptance, approval and more money. Why do they do it?
Perhaps they donít quite realize what theyíre getting into in the first place. Maybe it just seems like a good idea at the time so they go for it. Perhaps the temptation is just too compelling. But are we really all that different to the housemates?
Just the like the Big Brother house you probably share your life with some unwanted partners and maybe theyíre beginning to take over your life. In this case theyíre called Credit Card Debt, Late Payment Fees and Overdraft Charges. They seem to come into your life, uninvited, and just established themselves there. And now you canít seem to get rid of them. And thereís no public vote to take them out.
So who really invited them in and why canít you evict them? The answer lies in a real Big Brother thatís lurking in the background of your life. And itís not really some sinister Orwellian nightmare, itís simply your own temptation getting the better of you.
Of course there are some cases where people have really fallen on hard times and are dealing with challenges of debt and poverty that are not their own making. However, there are many more earning a decent salary with no real challenges who have simply slipped slowly into more and more debt.
Perhaps youíve been tempted by the attractive offers for loans and credit cards. Maybe the magazines full of the latest must-haves have grabbed your attention for just long enough to get you buying. Could it be that those impulse buys, or the offer of a 10% discount at the department store were just the push you needed to put you in your own Big Brother house with some new housemates?
And once those unwanted housemates of Debt, Charges and Fees get their feet in the door it can feel like their immune from eviction every month. They just stay there and if anything they get more of a foothold and get larger. Theyíre eating you out of House and Home and you canít even go to the Diary Room to complain.
So what can you do?
Well the first thing is to accept that you actually invited them in and stop denying that you were responsible. Itís tough to do but itís the first step to putting yourself in charge.
Next you need to decide, once and for all, that you want them out. And you need to decide that youíre willing to do whatever it takes to evict them.
The Charges and Fees can be voted out quite easily by getting yourself a little more organised and setting up direct debit payments to make sure at least your minimum credit card payment is covered each month. You may need to speak to your bank for an extended overdraft but youíll need to stay within in to avoid overdraft fees and that does mean watching what you spend for a little while as you get back in charge. Of course, if youíre avoiding a few £25 late payment charges each month then youíll find staying in credit a little easier. Many people find they can get these unwanted visitors out within a few months or less.
The slightly bigger challenge is your Credit Card and Loan Debt. This takes a little more work but, by sticking to an effective plan for paying off the debt, many people find they can clear their debts within a year to two years. The more focus and concentration you put in the faster it goes.
And once youíve evicted those unwanted housemates you can start inviting a few more friendly faces in, like Savings, Investments, Wealth and Good Relationships. Now wouldnít you prefer to spend your time with those?
You can find out more about this at http://www.financialdetox.com where you can also get a free 21 Day Financial Detox Program.
Andy Warren is a qualified chartered accountant, entrepreneur and coach with business experience at director levels in blue chip companies, SMEs and start-ups. He is also a Master Practitioner of NLP and has extensive knowledge, skills and experience in the field of coaching and developing human behaviour.
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