Pack A Punch

· The “one”: The Johnson family has been tracking interest rates and can take advantage of the fact that they can pay off the same amount of debt at a lower rate of interest that is also tax-deductible.

· The “two”: They cut up all the credit cards by which they got into debt in the first place.

· Another “two”: Dad or Mom takes a second job (evenings/weekends) with the intent of keeping it only long enough to pay off the debt. Income from this “new job” is applied 100 percent to paying off the debt.

· And another “two”: The family works as a unit to eliminate wasteful practices (shutting the water off when brushing teeth, turning the lights out when leaving the room, etc.), and finds inventive ways to “earn” holidays and dinners out. For example, Mr. Johnson declares that “all the money we make at the garage sale this weekend will go to one big night out as a family–movie, dinner, ice cream, the works.” These are cash transactions motivated by family harmony and shared goals.

This combination of “the two punch” is what seals the deal. Motivation like this makes a family strong and come together. Sure, finding the better interest rate will work over time, but it is the second punch–the closer–that puts the bully face down in the dirt, eating grass and crying for mercy.

As we all work to get our financial futures in shape, keep this little theory in mind. The old one-two is loaded with potential, if executed correctly. It might also take a while to develop the “two punch.” Taking on a second job may not turn out to be as profitable as we thought, so we should be prepared to find another. Saving on utilities may not pan out as highly as we hoped, so we should be ready to go another step and perhaps insulate walls, install ceiling fans, or do whatever is necessary to get that number closer to where we want it.

The bottom line is this: Our well-intended market savvy will only get us so far with the bully that is debt. He has stores of energy we may have underestimated from the beginning. We must use our awareness of that likelihood to be prepared for a good fight that is intentionally weighted in our favor. Let’s smack it with the left, and as its big ugly head comes towards us, we wind up and blast it with a right cross.

Then, my friends, we should apply the “three punch” to our own nose. Don’t put ourselves in that situation again!

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He can be reached via e-mail

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Related posts:

  1. Stray From The Pack
  2. A Recurring Nightmare
  3. Purpose & Perseverance
  4. Build Together–Before We Fall Apart
  5. Choose Your Moment

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