It is a beautiful day at the beach. Mom warns you not to go too far out. You say you will only go knee-deep unless you are with your big brother, but that does not last long. You go to the knee-deep part, but sand escapes from under your feet below, and waves crash up to your waist. You look back to see the shore is close. You feel safe. You are mesmerized by the shimmering water. You are already wet up to your waist, so a couple more steps won’t hurt. Waist-deep feels great! Now the waves are crashing up to your chest, but they seem gentler than before. You have everything under control. There is something moving just beyond you that draws your interest. You reach out to touch it and…..GLUB! Your are underwater, disoriented, confused. Your foundation has disappeared! You are suddenly in way over your head! You come up for air, look back, and realize that you have drifted far to the east of anyone you know on shore. You cannot find the help you need. You try to swim, but the push and pull of the ocean is stronger than your tired muscles. Will you find the strength to make it to safety? Will you drift further and further from safety? Will some stranger come to the rescue?
Debt is like that. It begins by enticing you, even though you have been warned of its dangers. It keeps you feeling safe. It even lets you feel in control, for a little while, but there is a treacherous drop-off. I know. I have been there. It started with little purchases and things that my husband and I knew we could pay off in a couple of months. Then communication broke down. One would spend without telling the other. Communication broke down. We were drifting farther and farther from the goals we had for our life together. Then came the drop-off; several large, unexpected expenses hit us at once. We were not prepared. There was a minimal savings account, but much more in multiple credit card debts. The drop-off was deeper than we could handle. With a mouth full of water and sheer determination, we kept trying to swim to shore under our own power. Who knows what might have happened, had it not been for the life preserver that eCO Credit Union provided.
With their help and A LOT of hard work, we managed, as a family to reduce our debt by over $8700, increase savings more than $1400, and still give $4000. If we can do it, you can too.
Are you knee-deep, waist-deep, or treading water and wondering when you will go under without the strength to come back up? Here are some principles that can and will make a difference. Grab the life preserver!