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Everyday Cheapskate: 3 Rs To Put Personal Finances Back on Track

Mary Hunt on

It's true that financial trouble is a major contributor to the breakup of the American family. It is also true that gaining control over one's finances can repair marriages, restore families and change the future. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Let me assure you right up front that it is possible for you to gain control of your financial situation, no matter how difficult or impossible things may appear right now.

In the same way you had to learn your three Rs as a child (reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic!), there are three Rs of personal financial recovery that form the foundation of meaningful change.

RESPONSIBILITY

No matter the contributing circumstances, until you are willing to take full responsibility for your financial situation, there is probably little hope for meaningful change. To blame others and assume the role of a victim is a terrible waste of energy.

You may need to take responsibility for not participating fully in your family's finances. Are you paralyzed by a divorce settlement you don't perceive to be fair? Maybe you no longer feel responsible for a student loan because you've quit school or find you just can't make it in your profession of choice.

 

You demonstrate your commitment to take full responsibility when you:

No. 1: Accept ownership. Even if you were not the only contributor to the mess, you need to take responsibility for it. Stop looking back, stop wishing and stop whining. If it has your name on it, admit that it's yours and take responsibility for it.

No. 2: Stop running. If you're like most who find themselves on shaky financial ground, you're not really sure exactly how much you owe. Instead of slamming the phone on your creditors, destroying the bills that come in the mail and doing everything you can to avoid facing the music, stop running. Accept the calls, do the right thing, learn the truth, get it down in writing, inhale deeply and take responsibility.

No. 3: Make a commitment. If you will promise to do whatever it takes to repay your debt and learn to live within your means, you have a bright future. It won't be a bed of roses, but it will be worth it.

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