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Everyday Cheapskate: Crash through — don’t quit

All of us have quitting points in our lives — those times or situations that become so overwhelming or challenging that we simply quit. No matter what you call them — brick walls, insurmountable obstacles, predictable or complete surprises, financial crises — things will never change if you don’t acknowledge they’re real. A key to overcoming the desire to quit is to identify those “brick walls” and then figure out how to crash through them.

What past circumstances and situations have caused you to throw in the towel and turn to credit as the easy way out? Perhaps it was Christmas or vacation or your fickle feelings of dissatisfaction when you saw what others had that you wanted.

Once you discover your quitting points, preparation is key in dealing with them. You have to do this ahead of time, not at the moment you come face-to-face with the overwhelming desire to quit.

It takes practice to crash through. Let’s say you identify the holidays as a time you are likely to give up and give in to credit. Year after year, even though you say it will never happen again, you end up shopping with your credit cards, promising that “this will be the last time ever.”

Now it’s May — or later — and you’ve still not paid the bills from last Christmas, even though the gifts are long forgotten and the season is but a foggy memory. The load of debt has become a pile of resentment and something you’d rather not think about. Now is the time to practice crashing through that quitting point, because next Christmas will be here before you know it.

Using the Christmas example, you can decide to start earlier. Make a commitment now as to how much cash you will spend, and promise that you will not go over that amount. During the spring or summer — when the holidays are not breathing down your neck and robbing you of your good sense — is the time to practice crashing that quitting point. Anticipate; prepare; shop early. There are dozens of things you can do to get in shape for that particular quitting point. Perhaps your quitting points are not seasonal, but come more regularly — attached to weekly or monthly commitments. Identify these; be honest with yourself. Ahead of these quitting points, practice crashing through the difficult time you know is on the way.

Practice rejecting attitudes of defeat and purposely replacing them with appropriate thoughts and behaviors. Know exactly what you will do even when you don’t feel like it. When every emotion in you suggests that a trip to the mall, credit card in tow, will make you feel better, gather all the determination you have to crash through those quitting points. Each time you do, it will be easier to do it the next time.

Soon it will become a habit on which you rely, and then you will begin to experience tremendous progress.

Mary Hunt is founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com.

You can email her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.

To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

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