Financial freedom is a major component of wellness. Wellness is more than a physical aspect of living, and the way we consider wellness at Remedy is body, mind and spirit.
One of the biggest
Enter Elizabeth Nicolette, CFP
The inability to defer gratification may be the single most significant cause of financial failure. That’s because it can so easily lead us into debt.
Why do people acquire debt? Debt is paying over time for a benefit already received. In some cases, acquiring debt is a realistic way of satisfying our needs. Having our own home provides a feeling of security and belonging to the community. It can take a lifetime of earnings to pay for a home, so a mortgage is a practical method for satisfying this need.
In our mobile society, transportation is an essential. We need transportation to work before we can earn income. Again, borrowing becomes a practical solution.
A good education is required for maximizing our learning potential. To get that education, the cost of borrowing may be an investment in the future.
Emergencies must be dealt with, and again, borrowing becomes the answer.
There are good reasons to take on debt, but if uncontrolled, incurring debt can become a harmful habit. Purchasing items on credit without considering the consequences can be a dangerous proposition. Considering asking yourself these questions may help you make a more responsible decision when it comes to borrowing money:
- Is it necessary?
- Do the benefits justify the cost?
- Is it truly an investment?
- Will it increase in value to justify the cost of borrowing?
The reality of borrowing is the high cost of debt. Interest payments represent a double loss. There is the compounded interest on the loan, in addition to the compounded loss of earnings.
Debt exacts an emotional cost, too. Our lives are riddled with stress. The nature of debt acts to compound that stress. We forfeit our flexibility when we borrow, and this is truly the highest cost of debt. If you feel that you’ve taken on more debt than you can handle, here are some helpful suggestions:
- Get a debt liquidation schedule
- Consolidate your debts
- Establish a budget and stick to it
- Stop unnecessary spending
- Develop a plan for the future
Make a commitment to yourself. If it means short-term pain, try to visualize the long-term gain. Our need for immediate gratification is a strong force. We gain financial health by having financial balance. That is the key to financial freedom.
About the Author
Elizabeth Nicolette is a Financial Advisor at First Command Financial Services Inc. in Asheville, North Carolina. This article was written by First Command Financial Services, Inc., and it is intended to promote the professional services of the company and its affiliates.
©2018. First Command Financial Services, Inc., parent of First Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member SIPC, FINRA), First Command Advisory Services, Inc., First Command Insurance Services, Inc. Securities and brokerage services are offered by First Command Financial Planning, Inc., a broker dealer. Financial planning and investment advisory services are offered by First Command Advisory Services, Inc., an investment adviser. Insurance products and services are offered by First Command Insurance Services, Inc. in all states except Montana, where as required by law, insurance products and services are offered by First Command Financial Services, Inc. (a separate Montana domestic corporation). Securities products are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement or other financial goals will be met.