03 March 2006

Overcoming Causes of Debt

From Bankrate.com, The Top 10 Causes of Debt, an article written by Steve Bucci:

1. Reduced income/same expenses.

2. Divorce.

3. Poor money management.

4. Underemployment.

5. Gambling.

6. Medical expenses.

7. Saving too little or not at all.

8. No money communication skills.

9. Banking on a windfall.

10. Financial illiteracy.

Of these 10 causes, only 2 can be considered to be "accidental": medical expenses and divorce, though you certainly play a major role in the latter. Every other cause, from saving too little to gambling to sheer lack of knowledge is within your control to overcome.

Now The Jenius finds that a liberating thought, but is wise (cynical) enough to appreciate that to most people, that control--that responsibility--is sickening. For those people, it is better to blame "luck", "fate", "the boss", "my parents" or any other number of targets than to sit down and grasp the simple inescapable reality that how you deal with money and its potential is entirely in your own hands.

You can learn about money management, financial planning and how to ask the right questions about money matters. You can avoid gambling and waiting for the lottery lightning bolt to fry your ass(ets). You can control your expenses, your work-income relationship and create savings. You can, if the situation arises, deal with divorce so that its financial impact (and there is always a financial impact) is lessened, without cheating the other party. And if medical expenses come your way, you can be ready and receive the added benefit of getting the best care money can buy.

Every day that passes without a reality-based focus on your money and the knowledge of what it can and not do for you is a day you lose money. Literally. Rather than owing to others, you owe it to yourself to become your personal money expert.

Where to start? Try Bucci's article and just eliminate any and all the causes of debt you currently engage in. You don't have to become an expert overnight: you simply have to choose to become one from this moment on.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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