Three smart tips for managing credit

Today is International Get Smart With Credit Day [Aug 17].

Yay! Did you know that?  Here’s a transcript from a video I did last year.

All these days we have now to celebrate things. Some of you may not be celebrating credit cards right now or credit, consumer credit. What I wanted to do was take 2 minutes of your time and give you 3 tips that I’ve just pulled together this morning very quickly. Thanks to Kim by the way for bringing World Credit Day Awareness to me. What we’re going to do is just do 2 minutes. I’ve got the timer on me because we don’t want me to get carried away and I know that you guys are all really busy doing life.

Let’s go. What I want to talk to you about is credit.

Consumer credit, whatever kind of credit. Money that’s not yours. Credit, right?

I’m talking to the people who are not making full monthly repayments, so the actual full balance of your card, if you are not paying that off every month … Some of you say that you are able to do that, and that’s only actually a very small percentage of the population. Found out today in my research, I’m just reading on the screen from ABC News, only 1/3 of people think they pay interest on their credit cards, but the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that the real figure is actually about double that.

It looks like many of us are being overly optimistic. We need to get some clarity around what we are actually doing with our credit. Real clarity so we have confidence moving forward. I’m going to cover with you today 3 tips. The reason is I don’t want people to be swimming in this unhappiness in life. Debt … Being in debt and not being able to manage it causes so much stress and anxiety, pressures on relationships, pressures at work. We need to get on top of this and get, like I said, clarity and confident about where we’re going forward with our money.

One other thing I just wanted to mention is credit cards are not evil. I heard that term yesterday from a 7 year old that I was teaching a financial literacy education class to.

They’re not evil.

It’s our behavior with the credit card that is questionable. Right?

Let’s not look at them from an evil place. This is all about looking at us and our behavior.

My 3 tips are going to cover practical, emotional, and intentional because I fully believe that there is a circle that we operate in in relation to money. It’s an alchemy. An alchemy with money. We create the money, then we need to transform it and all this combined. It’s an alchemy that we need to get in touch with.

My 3 credit smart tips are … I’ve got the timer on. Ready, set, go.

1. Track your spending

The first one if a practical tip. I encourage you to track your spending. In our day to day world we are so busy flicking on paper, sliding it through the machine, hardly ever using cash anymore. Everything comes out electronically. Direct debits and all that thing. We’re actually are losing time and losing our focus on what we’re doing with our money. It’s really important, even if you just take a week, get a pen and paper out and start tracking what you’re doing with your spending because the people that I work with are actually become unconscious and they’re not watching what they are doing with their money. They think they’re paying their credit card off every month but they’re actually spending more money than they’re earning. It’s a very difficult cycle once you get stuck in that cycle to get out.

Practical tip number 1 is make sure you track your spending and be 100% certain … 100% certain that you are not spending more than you are earning. If you are making minimum payments on our credit card that is not enough. You have to be doing more. There’s a great calculator, let me just click up here. If you go to … For my Australian … Hey Lori, I can see you’re in America, but you would have something like this over there. In Australia we have there’s a tab here called borrowing and credit. You can actually go in there and you can put your figures in there and it will tell you how long it’s going to take you to pay back that credit card. Take some practical action today. Track, work out that you’re not spending more than you’re earning, and have a look at that money smart calculator.

2. Check in with how you feel about your credit card

Oh God, I got 1 minute left. Okay, quick. Number 2 emotional. Check in with how you feel about your credit card. If you have a credit card or you have consumer debt and you’re like, whew, yeah, no worries, I’ve got this all under control. I know how to handle it. That’s great, but if every time you get your bank statement you’re looking at it and you’re going, ooh, I think I’ve overspent. I’m not sure. I’m really not sure. I’ll just put it aside for a week. If you’re having a feeling, an emotional reaction, to credit you really need to look at that because that’s what keeps people’s head in the sand and not moving forward. Have a look, and just do it a little quick check in with what is it that you feel about credit. Even this conversation, oh my God, it’s about credit card … Credit Day today, did that stir some emotion with in? Did it make you feel a bit sick in the guts? Did you feel a little bit of dread? Did you start to feel anxious and your heart may have raced? It’s really important to check in with those feelings and a quick exercise to do is to just take 3 really, big, deep breaths and tell yourself that you’ve got this. I’ve got way more to say about that topic, but guess what? I’m over time already.

3. What is your intention with credit?

Quick. My third tip, my third tip is intention. What is your intention with your money? What is your intention with your credit? Is your intention to pay off? If it is get a plan in place and pay that fucker off. Get it out of your life so that you feel great about your money.

I’ve done it. Well, I was a little over time. I was 1 minute over time. If anybody’s got any questions please post them in this feed and I’m going to get back to everyone personally with a response and some action about what you can do so that you feel you’re a little bit smarter about how you’re handling your credit.

Hey … while I’ve got you … Is your debt always on your mind?  Is it turning you into a tight arse and misery guts?

I bet it’s dragging your relationship down.

You need to get your money shiz sorted … TODAY!

As a money mentor + business owner + shall we say … financial therapist, I will get you on your way to living a soul-filled rich life.

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