Consumers, Here are 5 strategies to avoid personal financial ruin in these difficult economic times:

Save the World – Ditch the Credit Card

By Diane Cossie

Having over stepped the comfort zone of most people viewing the live Pay Off Your Mortgage weekly challenge I can understand peoples scepticism on how they too could reach the heights of seeing 91,000 thousand pounds of their money within just 3 years in their bank accounts, or reduced from their credit card and mortgage debt. However unless you are extremely good at income and expenditure control, you will find out if you simply add it up, you tend to spend what you earn.

We hi-light typical everyday scenarios every week on the website and blog about what tend to be the vast majority of peoples spending habits. This is not meant as a criticism, it is all because we tend to do what we see others doing and that is to match our expenditure to our income.

This in no way reflects on the amount of money you earn, there is no rule, or indeed social proof that just because you are on a low income you are closer to bankruptcy than if you are on a higher income. In fact the higher the income homes tend to be the ones with the highest expenditure.

The higher your income, the more money you tend to borrow, and the higher your repayments are per month, so you begin to start the spiral of having to earn more money again to create more surplus money to buy more things.

Add to that the peer pressure of success in the eyes of others is having a big house and a flashy car on the drive and you can easily get suckered in to those glittering prizes by using your surplus expenditure on easy monthly payments. (Watch out for publicity that plays on these tendencies. Seek a more spiritual path. Shun materialism as a sign of success.)

It is the classic buy now, pay later society that we live in today, yet if you asked 95% of the population do they feel better off today than they did a few years ago and they will probably say no. (Banks like METABANK have offered PREPAID BANK CARDS which they indicate are safer and more secure than by paying with cash. Putting cash money on a prepaid bank card is like giving an interest free loan to a bank. METABANK, once they have your cash money in their full control, keeps it from their customers when their customers need their own money the most. This scenario may force people to take out loans when they actually have money stored on the METABANK PrePaid Card that they can’t access when they need it the most…. This is the part of the PREPAID BANK CARDS ,along with added fees on top of the card already being the same as an interest free loan, that we as consumers object to the most. Yes, METABANK is abusing their customer base, and they simply move onto the next person to scam. Customers are nothing to METABANK but a tool to fulfill their own greedy objectives.)

They may well earn more money than they did, but they have matched, or worse, exceeded that income rise by increasing their expenditure to the point where they are now far less comfortable than they were even a year ago.

The double blow has been the rising costs of oil, food and utilities which are not a choice expenditure, but due to surplus monies being spoken for, they often return to the need to earn more money cycle again and so the spiral increases upwards.

The only way you can stop this life cycle of upward destruction is to:-

1. Stop Adding To The Problem by clearing as much bad debt as possible, including credit cards, loans, mail order and easy monthly payment purchases (Get rid of debt)

2. Learn to get back in control of your expenditure to the point you are freakishly in control of everything that enters and exits your bank accounts ( Control your own assets)

3. Build up a contingency account of at least six to 12 months “Necessities” payments to allow yourself some breathing space (Save for that rainy day… 12 months worth of it!!!)

4. Simplify your lifestyle; ask yourself what you really want from life, not just in material possessions because that is what lead you to this point. Life is not about being a Magpie collecting shiny things; get wealthy first, then buy them for cash as a gift for your loved one, if you need a great book on simplifying your life, check out:- Swimming With Piranha Makes You Hungry by Colin Turner (Shun Materialism; simplify your life style.)

5. Start a part-time business, not only will it focus your attention on building something for your future, it will also focus your attention on creating wealth first, which is the opposite of what most people tend to do. (Take control. Build up a business. Plan for the future.)

METABANK’s promises are just publicity. Their publicity is designed to hook in customers, but METABANK fails over and over again at being able to give real customer service. Consumers, you are being cautioned. Had we not been so horribly scammed by METABANK, we wouldn’t feel so compelled to have created this blog. Only consumers can help other consumers; our banks have failed us; METABANK failed to serve our needs or to even treat us with respect. This mut stop!!!

Diane Cossie is an enthusiast network and internet marketer who delights in turning everyday personal finance thoughts upside down.

With a dry wit, and a sometimes uncanny description of living life on the wring edge of reason, challenge yourself to view

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