New, compelling evidence that the United States of America is approaching the status of a third world nation has emerged in the last few years. It may seem ludicrous that one of the countries on the forefront of technology has citizens in a state of squalor but surveys and reports paint an alarming picture of the United States as falling so far down the economic scale of the world that the country will lose its status as a world power.
“Debt is the worst poverty.” – Thomas Fuller
It was only a few years ago when I was overloaded with debt – so much so that I couldn’t make all my payments and I had numerous debts sent to several collection agencies. I had creditors calling me for late payments, and I was juggling them, constantly stressed about how I was going to make my car payment and make rent. It’s hard to imagine those days now – the unbearable burden of that debt – because as of this year, I am debt free!
It’s an amazingly liberating feeling to be free of debt. Your money is your own, and you have breathing room in your budget for saving, investing, and buying what you need.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
While you can cut costs here and there, the real, lasting changes won’t come until you change your habits. If you currently give in to impulse purchases on a regular basis, for example, you’ll still spend a lot of money despite making numerous cuts in other areas.
An important long-term strategy is to create new, sound financial habits, one at a time. See The Power of Less for more on creating new habits. Use the effective habit-change techniques in the book to change one habit at a time. Here are some important habits to form: