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Getting Out of Debt on the Layaway Plan
by Diane Conlinn
March 3, 2004

Getting out of debt on the layaway plan. Sounds like the old joke doesn't it. "I thought about exercising one day, but I laid down till the desire went away."

There is a grain of truth in every saying. The truth in that saying is that we tend to want to wait until we feel like doing something to start. When I'm mentally prepared to deal with curbing my spending, I will start curbing it we say. When I am mentally prepared to deal with taking care of business, I'll start. Some day, I am going to march into that room and cut up my credit cards, and call to cancel my accounts.

The question is when is that going to be? What is our criteria for being mentally prepared. When we are in a good mood? We got praised at work? Or somebody insulted us yet again? We ran out of money? We are being sued. We lost our home. Our husband or our wife found out. When we have $500 of bounced checks?

If pressed, we'll say that we can't spell it out exactly, but we'll know when that is.

Why not today? Well, I'll fail we say. I won't succeed. For sure, we won't succeed if we do nothing. We aren't succeeding anyway so we might as well try. We might surprise ourselves and get ourselves into better shape.

Okay, so we're persuaded we are going to begin right now. So, we put on our shopping clothes, and go out to buy book on debting and purchase filing supplies. We shop all day and when we get home, we are so tired, we think we'll just lie down. We can start tomorrow.

Somehow we managed to do it again. We put off changing our life for the better.

My suggestion for the solution to this dilemma is the following. Let's do something that's very easy. Instead of shopping for business supplies, search around and find a piece of paper that you can fold up in your wallet. Starting now, every time we spend money we'll write it down.

2/04/2004 Albertsons chk #1425 $45.32

2/03/2005 withdrawal ATM cash ($50.00)

Yes, my suggestion is to start recording spending. But you don't have to add it or subtract it, not yet. Just write it down. And, just start observing your spending. That's it.

This is an experiment in living. Yes, we can fail. But hey, by doing nothing, we aren't succeeding anyway, we might as well do something today. We might just surprise ourselves and succeed.