One of the human freedoms we enjoy is to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. We can alter our lives by altering our attitudes.
When it comes to debt-proofing your life, I believe 10 percent is about the money you have and 90 percent is about your attitude toward it. How else could I possibly explain the amazing financial feats of people like Vikki and her husband, who not only survived but thrived during a difficult financial season in their lives. Here's their story:
"After 24 years of service, my husband learned his job was in jeopardy. So we sat down and worked out a six-month plan. We lived by it religiously.
"First, we took all the money from our regular savings account and paid off two credit cards. We took the payments for those cards and added them to the credit card with the next highest balance, which we paid in full within two months.
"We did not go out to eat or to the movies. We needed to shed some pounds along with the debt, so the adults in the family went on a diet
"We went through our house and assessed everything. If it hadn't been used in a year, it became part of our huge garage sale. We made $2,500, which we immediately used to pay toward the next credit card in line. We called the credit card companies and asked them to lower the interest rates. One agreed to a lower rate for six months.
"Six months after we started this, no more job. And there would be no unemployment benefits or child support for our granddaughter
"We went through everything in the house and purged. We had another garage sale and made $1,400, which paid off the last credit card. The next debts in line were medical, and we made arrangements to pay as much as we could on a weekly basis.
"To our complete amazement, my husband got an unexpected severance package. We paid off all outstanding unsecured debt and split the remaining amount into three accounts: regular checking account, contingency fund and savings account.
"Four months after losing his job, we were completely debt-free except for the house. We even paid past-due property taxes and had three months' living expenses in the bank.
"We made it. We stuck to our plan. I even reopened my home business, which pays our monthly food bill. We are debt-free and so much wiser. Now we patiently wait for my husband's next employment opportunity."
Out of all the possible reactions, this family chose happiness. Instead of a situation they could have labeled disaster, they turned their situation into a launching pad, and their positive attitudes became the fuel to initiate a season of financial accomplishment.