Credit - Heart Matters

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2.    Self-Actualization

c.    Describe the Relationship Between Credit and Self-Actualizers


The enemy of self-actualization is debt, especially credit card debt for impulse  purchases that we buy to make us feel like we are loved and we belong.  Think about it:   have you ever bought something you didn’t really have the money for because you thought it would make you happier?  Did it?  Things can't help us feel that way.  And, more debt from buying these things means less time to engage in activities that help us feel fulfilled, loved, and worthwhile and more guilt and less self-actualized.

The costs for us non-self-actualizers, with our out-of-control appetites to be approved of and to belong to some group, are alarmingly high. Check out how many of us were in financial ill-health. (Source: USA Today, 04/15/05)

Think about how these personal situations may have contributed to the financial crisis we are experiencing today.
  • Savings rates at a 25-year low
  • Personal bankruptcies at a record high
  • Americans of all income groups are in ill-health. Americans who earn $20,000 a year have an average of $8,000 in retirement savings while Americans who earn $50,000 to $70,000 a year have only $10,000 in retirement savings
  • A survey of the largest group of financial planners, the Financial Planners Association, reveals that overspending and living beyond your means and having saved little or nothing for retirement are the top financial stressors for Americans
  • “…Americans—faced with loads of debts, soaring costs for health care and college, and potential changes in Social Security—aren’t doing what they need to do:  save more and spend less. They need to go on a financial diet…”

If you fall into the category of people described above, it's important not to beat yourself up.  Instead, take an honest look at yourself and what you need to change.  Practice self-forgiveness and begin to formulate a plan to get out of debt.  It's possible, and there are financial professionals who can help.
  • Find a financial planner in your area
  • Contact the Consumer Credit Counseling Services at www.creditcounseling.org or 1-866-889-9347
  • Form  a “support group” of friends with a common goal of financial health and make a plan together

If you decide you want to help the broader community, talk to your local church, library, or community center about inviting experts to discuss credit. Once you understand that credit issues happen to your neighbors and acquaintances, it will be easier to face and change credit habits.

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