In the Back to the Black system you need to reflect on your own values. One of the hardest questions to answer is ‘ how do I feel about money?’ Or another way of asking this question is ‘ How does money make me feel?’
A man called Ken once said to me ‘no-one ever made money honestly’. He later said ‘ I have never had more than £1000 saved at any time in my life.’ For Ken, money was associated with bad things. He didn’t save money because he didn’t want those negative associations in his life or his family’s life.
For Natalie, money is exciting. Rather the spending of money is exciting. Natalie finds shopping exciting. She revels in the excitement of getting a new purchase and taking it home. She is in a relationship with Alan. They have been together for five years yet Natalie went out and bought a used car without telling him. He came home from work to find they had a new car. Natalie also owes over £10 000 on credit cards yet she is still spending money like it is going out of fashion. The car purchase added another £6000 to their debt since they have no savings and are paying the minimum payments on their card debt.
How does money make you feel? Do you loathe money like Ken? Or do you spend because of the excitement like Natalie, even at the risk of her relationship with Alan?
I have publicly said in Back to the Black that I lived beyond my means. If you are in debt I know how you feel because I have been there, exactly where you are now. I never worried about money because ‘ it would sort itself out’ yet it never did. I know how it feels to lay your head on the pillow at night and worry about where the money is coming from tomorrow. I know how it feels to put your hand in your pocket to find an empty pocket and for me that led to fear and a feeling of desperation and failure. I no longer have debt other than my mortgage and I am working on reducing that as soon as possible. Living debt free is more than just possible, it is essential. After the crash of 2007, the cost of borrowing fell to a record low and is still there. This means it is an ideal time to clear your debt. There has never been a better time and it means that if you fail to take this opportunity you will regret it later. Interest rates will not always stay this low, they will rise, particularly after the next British General election in 2015. Make it a mantra ‘ I will not debt today.’
To your success