Repetition Is Ruin: Make Your Financial Fresh Start A Clean Slate

Sometimes in life, we all have to recognise we’ve come to a point where our bad decisions have made it difficult to move forward. It’s not something we ever want to admit to ourselves. It’s something we’re even less willing to admit to others, which makes many of us reluctant to ask for help. But when you’ve lived a few years, chances are you’ve made a few bad decisions. Knowing that, and how to remedy them, is key.

The thing about an accumulation of errors is that it can happen over the course of years, even decades. If you’ve borrowed unwisely, it can begin to strangle you as time goes on. And when it comes to the point where money is becoming a serious problem, you need to look around for a way of making that problem go away. More importantly, you need to make sure it doesn’t resurface.

Consolidating Your Debt

Sometimes we find ourselves with two or three credit cards we cannot pay off. We have a few loans that are getting on top of us. The mortgage is barely being serviced each month. You can only blind yourself to a reality like that for so long before it becomes dangerous. So there may come the point when you need to consolidate your debts, possibly by remortgaging your home (as in the guide published here).

Being Honest With Yourself And Others

One reason that personal debt can get so bad is that we want it to be less than it is. So we may tell ourselves that, sure, there’s a problem. But it’s only this size as opposed to that, much bigger, size. You may leave a credit card or two, and a loan, out of your count when admitting the scale of the debt. No matter how much you fear people finding out the truth, it’s a good idea to fear bailiffs and homelessness more. Admit the actual size of the problem, and work to remove it all.

Learning The Lesson

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As George Santayana said, “those who do cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it”. You may feel rueful as you remortgage your home to pay off those debts, but instead of drawing a line under it, remember this feeling. When you’re tempted to spend recklessly, remember how you felt. Only by doing this can you wipe the slate clean, and keep it clean.

Keeping A Sense Of Perspective

One problem that unites gluttons of the culinary kind and the financial is an “all or nothing” approach to turning over a new leaf. It’s totally understandable, an attitude of “I went down that road before. Never again!”. But having been fat or bankrupt is not a reason to never enjoy food or shopping ever again.

It means appreciating the occasions when you can cut loose a bit and not making them the norm. You don’t have to never go on holiday, dress in rags and live on white rice and tinned sauce forever. Because if you try to force yourself down that road, you will suffer and you’re more likely to relapse into old habits.

If you take a grown-up attitude to confronting your problems, you can make sure they don’t keep happening. It’s better to look forward to the future with resolve than back on your mistakes with shame.

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