All Star Game And World Cup Emergency Act Becoming (Really) Debt-Free

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Becoming (Really) Debt-Free

Personal debt continues to be a major problem plaguing residents of many developed countries around the world as people find it increasingly difficult to pay back money plus interest on borrowed money. Conventional wisdom, traditional financial planners, the media, and often our families tell us that it takes determination, good record keeping, and self-discipline to get out of debt. Sure, perhaps those qualities alone can go a long way toward becoming debt-free to begin with. But they actually fall short for those who want to stay debt-free for the long term. That’s a whole other story.

Being debt free does not mean staying debt free

Without context (background), the daily effort required to stay debt-free erodes over time. Eventually, and perhaps gradually, many families and individuals who have worked hard to stay out of debt lose their resolve. They start using loans and debt returns to their lives. At some point, they may find themselves back where they started, like yo-yo dieters.

Why? What happened?

Urgent and all types of media manipulation target every emotional hook they can to get us to buy, buy, buy and “keep up with the Joneses”. In the ever-expanding commercial world, we still have a powerful tool and virtually no one can take away our defense.

The secret ingredient to living debt-free for life

The secret ingredient? Knowledge. Knowledge is power. A fully informed thought process about money and wealth makes all the difference. It promotes the constant motivation we all need to do whatever it takes to stay debt free. Such knowledge exists today in easy-to-understand language for anyone who seeks it.

Twins missing pieces about money and wealth

The Reader Digest version is as follows. Money is actually a debt instrument. 95% of it is originally issued by a central bank somewhere in the world when it is BORROWED (the Federal Reserve NOTE written on the back of the US dollar). It has to be repaid with interest, so there is never enough money in the world to pay off the debt. Think: Child’s play, musical chairs. Interest compounds over time. Business owners add the cost of the money they borrow (debt service) to the cost of their goods and services that we all buy. As a result, over time each nation’s central banking money loses value and people lose purchasing power (buy less for more). What was purchased in the United States in 1913 now costs more than $21.00. You can verify this fact on any online inflation calculator.

Wealth: We were taught that wealth is primarily money. Yet the most prestigious English dictionary, The Oxford English Dictionary, defines wealth with material abundance as the third and last definition, while personal and spiritual well-being is the first.

Wealth (The Oxford English Dictionary)

1. The condition of being happy and prosperous; comfort. 2. Spiritual well-being. 3. Prosperity consisting in abundance of property; “worldly goods”, valuable goods, especially in great abundance: wealth, prosperity.

Independent research on this topic is time well spent. Opening our eyes to how money really works is changing the way we look at wealth. We are able to recognize the value of personal and spiritual well-being as the first meaning of wealth. Money as a debt instrument loses its value over time and is a profitable product of a private central banking system. No worldly person can control it. However, we have the ability to individually opt out of the social agreement that wealth is primarily money and what can be bought.

Otherwise, you can expect some combination of business, media, family and peers to shape your thinking and financial habits according to the conventional model. It happens even to those who once achieved debt-free status. On the one hand we are told to get out of debt and live within our means, and on the other hand the business tempts us in every emotional way imaginable to take advantage of your good credit.

The value of an intangible financial foundation

When we base our financial foundations on intangible personal and spiritual well-being, something amazing happens. It redefines success. The unbridled enthusiasm to accumulate things is losing its power. Through the lens of well-being, material wealth takes on a new dimension. If you believe that the contemplated purchase of a new home, wardrobe, furniture, vacation, etc., will add to your stress load, you know for sure that it is not the right time to buy.

Your expanded view

An expanded view of money and wealth is a portal through which new knowledge will continue to flow. For example: Who would have thought that the financial/banking industry, the biggest educator of “consumers” about money and finance, would withhold vital information about how money works? As a result, people continue to borrow and spend in ways they would not otherwise have done had they been given more information. But since over 70% of the US economy is based on consumer spending, well…systemic self-preservation trumps full disclosure.

You may be alone, but you are not alone

People all over the world who are “in the know” are using practical tactics, some traditional and some unconventional, to get out and out of debt. But as always, the challenge of any minority opinion is to be able to face consensus reality and remain strong and true.

Once you realize that all central banking, and therefore our economy, is based on debt, you will also understand that there is more to wealth and debt-free than meets the eye. Here are some other recommendations. Some you’ve heard before and others you probably haven’t because they reflect the whole story of money. You may want to watch a helpful animated film called Money as Debt. You can find free versions online or visit their website.

1. Get out of debt. Mortgage debt is still debt.

Pay off and hopefully eliminate the debt. Personal debt can unwittingly trap families in a pitiful matrix. Greater personal freedom is the intangible value of getting off the hamster wheel forever.

Prioritize who you pay first. Most people have several different creditors. Pay off debt in descending order; starting with those that require the highest interest and so on. This will encourage you.

2. Stop relying on loans and leverage.

The financial industry makes money when you use a loan to convert existing debt into another interest-bearing loan, so they won’t discourage you from doing so. Break up your credit cards. The availability of credit cultivates an instant gratification mindset. If that’s too radical for you, keep one card and put it in the freezer in water. This will give you a break from defrosting before you act on impulse.

3. Live within your means.

Compare what you earn with what you spend each month. Write it down. Then do your best to have more money than they leave. Committing to living within your means creates a process: You may need to lower your shopping expectations and your current lifestyle, spend less, buy bulk and used, etc. This tactic alone can provide peace of mind.

4. Create cash emergency funds.

With the money you can get from living below your means, pay short-term savings for car maintenance, home projects and repairs, and general emergencies so you don’t have to rely on credit. Also, keep a useful amount of cash safely on hand so that you don’t have to be completely dependent on banking institutions, especially during tough times. Think back to 1929 and Argentina, 2001.

5. Develop a cash-flow engine.

Create one or more cash-flow engines. In these uncertain economic times, having an independent income is very helpful. Learn to manage your financial life forward without thinking that you have to reach for a loan. When researching such work, consider the goods and services people would pay for in good times and bad. People on fixed incomes are not immune to the exponentially rising cost of living, which will require additional financial resources if they are to avoid the credit trap.

6. Grow your own food.

Growing your own food takes up less space than you think. Keep your food safe, eat plenty and share food with your neighbors. Or support local farmers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) organizations.

7. Consider an alternative monetary system.

An alternative currency provides access to a second tier economy and maximizes your purchasing power. Do a web search to find what’s on offer in your area.

8. See your life as a glass half full.

Don’t forget to count your blessings. Victims are not empowered to act. Turning off the TV really helps because the mainstream media has conditioned you to believe that “more is better”.

9. Don’t wait to get started.

Time is important. In a debt-based monetary system, money is always of greatest value today, not tomorrow. With each passing day, money will be worth less as inflation erodes value; including nest eggs. The sooner the better for you and your family.

Below are three strategies that incorporate the specific tactics mentioned above.

1. Create a stable foundation in the present. Traditional personal finance strategies often become counterproductive because they overlook a crucial risk factor; how money works in the context of the monetary system. As with health problems; without knowing the cause of the symptoms, treatment often lacks full effectiveness. The ability to consistently build wealth and make sound decisions over time increases with personal balance. Learning how to create and maintain a stable financial foundation now and why it’s important leads to the personal well-being needed to make good decisions for future security.

2. Take advantage of the value of money today. Since a debt-based currency always has the most value today, not some time in the future, it makes sense to learn and use every possible tactic to take advantage of the value of money today. The goal is to pay as little as possible for as much value as possible by buying in bulk, managing consumption, living simply, etc. One thing usually holds true tomorrow: either prices will go up or you’ll get less money for the same amount.

3. Consider People-to-People™ investing. The conventional model of retirement has been to establish a “nest” in combination with one’s pension and Social Security. But as pensions evaporate and nest eggs shrink as the cost of living rises, millions of people are having to reassess their pensions if they don’t outlive them.

There are understated risks to money passively parked in traditional interest-bearing pension products. One is that when you convert a 401(k), IRA, etc., you lose the purchasing power of the money you once had. After transfer fees and all taxes are paid, returns are often less than what you planned and need for the future.

People-to-People Investing™ is about capitalizing on worthy people, projects and viable small businesses capable of both financial success and added value to the community. Such an investment, done responsibly, provides additional cash flow in line with the goal of reducing one’s dependence on credit and staying ahead of the rising cost of living.

_______

Good News? You absolutely can become and stay debt free for the long term. Perhaps the bad news is that most people need some time to get the big picture about money and wealth.

Ultimately, there is a war for control over how we think about money and wealth. To date, the “small individual” is losing the battle. In a world based on debt, business is absolutely dependent on the use of credit and the leverage of debt to achieve financial success. While you can certainly become debt-free through self-discipline alone, like a fish swimming upstream, the long-term odds are against you.

Long-term debt-free life, personal freedom, and peace of mind are in store for those who choose to be fully informed. The choice is yours.

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