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Reduce your debts and increase your financial security

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With a population of over 300 million people, each US citizen’s share of the American government’s debt load is over $46,000. In 2008, escalating mortgage debt caused a financial crash that decimated the retirement income of many. Debt control is becoming a very important issue.

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Credit interest eats away at wealth Every household has a budget and must live within its means, as well as save for the future. We each must be careful to not allow debt interest repayment to reduce our ability to live comfortably, or retire with financial security.

Interest on debt except for investment or business debt, is paid with after-tax income, and reduces our capacity to pay down the principle on our mortgages, or increase our investments for retirement. Both Americans and Canadian’s per household debt service ratio is edging up as the ratio of household credit debt to personal disposable income advances higher towards 200%.

Shift your financial paradigm away from debt The fact that so many people act without discretion while increasing debt shows that consumers need for a more mature view of finance. We need to examine our true need for each purchase and consider the effect on our family’s income-creating ability before giving in to the temptation to buy more of what we cannot afford.

Essentially to avoid debt, we need to govern our response to each desire to have what we cannot afford. How do we do this? Work at not buying what you cannot afford, meaning living by a responsible paradigm of fiscal temperance. Learning to say to yourself “No. I will survive without this item and will be better off debt-free!”

“If worst comes to worst, meet poverty halfway by retrenching expenses.  That is what I am striving to do, that and to reform before poverty forces me to.  Furthermore, I have established enough levels in my soul where I can get along with less than I have; get along contentedly,  I mean, Not by the calculation of our income, but by your manner of living and your culture, is your wealth really to be reckoned”. Montaigne

Reduce debt for societal justice Good financial discernment directs our actions when considering taking on a debt. If a man, for example, has borrowed fifty dollars from a friend to go to a concert with his girlfriend, the goal of fiscal justice is to pay his friend back what is due to him. Justice, in conformity with right reason, demands that the fifty dollars be paid back. But how and when shall it be paid back? An imprudent man might never pay it back, and so he would fail to observe the rule of social justice in relation to finance.

Develop a strategy to pay back debt To pay back debt requires the resolution to set aside a small sum from our income each week or month until we have allocated repayment of our debts. Look at all of your debts and begin to pay down the higher interest-bearing debts first. Another approach would be to pay off the smaller loans and/or credit cards first to achieve victories sooner while creating the habit of debt reduction.

What is your financial viewpoint? In the end we must be determined to be directed by wise discretion, as to how we use credit in order to attain financial goals. This is for the good of all – family and society. Your financial advisor can guide you how to reduce debt and increase your investment portfolio.

 


 

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