The Debt-Free Spending Plan
An Amazingly Simple Way to Take Control of Your Finances Once and for All
Author: JoAnneh Nagler
Pub Date: October 2012
Print Edition: $16.00
Print ISBN: 9780814432433
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814432440
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Debt is a killer. It’s a drag on our hearts and minds, an energy hog,
and a full-time guilt-making machine. It leads us in only one direction:
Down, into lives of worry, fear, and desperation. Even a little bit
of debt can cause us enough grief to agonize over, our heads swirling
in sleeplessness when we should be resting, our stomachs tied in
knots whenever we think about our finances.
We know—as anyone who has ever been in debt knows—the downside
of being in over our heads financially. It’s uncomfortable. It’s
painful. We can feel it right now, in our gut, and we don’t even have to
conjure up the details of it. Most likely it’s caused us to stay up nights,
grind our teeth, sweat bullets, overeat, have indigestion, break out in
hives, or some other version of physical or spiritual discomfort.
We know what it’s doing to us. But the worst part about debting
is that it’s not just exacting psychological and physical payments for
what we’ve done in the past. The horrendous worry comes from the
fact that we are still doing it.We are in debt, we keep debting, and we
don’t see a way out. Our expenses are greater than our income, we say.
So what else can we do?
We can even argue that we feel okay about it—“it’s just a board
game,” “what’s the big deal?” “I front myself money, then I pay it
back later. . . .” But we all know that being in debt does not produce
feelings of peace and well-being. If we’ve dug ourselves a hole,
debting against our home-equity line, running up credit cards or
project debting (as I did), these rationalizations just make our guilt
and self-loathing worse.
We can get philosophical and argue that the debting machine of
credit produces income for our economy—that it’s “just the way
things get done” in our cultural timeline, and we’re just a cog in the
wheel. We have to use credit cards. We have to be part of the
machine. And even while we vent such justifications, we take no
pleasure in being in debt, and we surely do not feel industrious for
having accrued it. And most of the time, we have no idea how we’re
going to pay all that money back.
So instead of feeling engaged and a part of our lives, we find ourselves
yearning for the proverbial “one day” when we might (1) make
twice as much money as we’re making now, (2) get bailed out by an
inheritance, (3) get a big pay-off from a “minor” car accident, (4) find
a bag of cash by the side of the road, or, depending on the magnitude
of the amount we owe, (5) escape to Bogotá for a lifelong visit. “One
day” makes us feel trapped today, and a lot of the joy we could be
experiencing in daily life vaporizes into worry over debt.
We may have tried credit consolidators, borrowing from parents
or friends, or getting an extra job to pay off creditors, and even when
we have been able to zero those balances out, a year, two years, four
years later we’re in debt again. “How did this happen?” we lament.
This is how it happened.
We got ourselves into debt for one simple reason: We have no
spending plan. We have no idea how much it really costs us to live,
what we’re able to live on, and what “wants” and “needs” we can
afford. We think budgets are constricting and want no part of them,
but our lack of spending clarity causes us even greater grief. We’re
afraid that if we look deeply into our finances we’ll never have
another luxury or fulfilled want for the rest of our lives.
The Debt-Free Spending Plan will help you end all of that. It will
help you take simple steps to stop running up debt, live within your
means, and start building something that’s meaningful to you. It will
offer you guideposts to funding what you want, as well as what you
need. It’s easy to use and specifically designed for people who tune
out when it comes to their money.
It does not require that you learn a special computer program. It
does not require that you live on noodles and toast. It does not
require any special skills besides the use of a calculator and basic
addition and subtraction. And it doesn’t matter whether you make
$14,000 or $14 million. If you can add, you can use the Debt-Free
Spending Plan to live free from debt for the rest of your life. I’m not
kidding. If you’ve had enough of the pain that comes from living in
debt, then read on. If you want to live free of worry over money and
start choosing where you spend your cash, then read on.
This book is for everyone, everywhere, who has believed that
money wisdom belongs to a special class of people with a special class
of skills. It doesn’t. It’s yours for the taking right here in The Debt-
Free Spending Plan.
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