I have noticed a pattern in my blog writing, and it’s that I notice behaviors and decisions that people make and most of the things I’ve pointed out recently have been about bad decisions. I guess I have followed the lead of the news media and have only been reporting on bad news, in the hope that we can all learn from other people’s mistakes. Here is a good news story for a change of pace.
The story is about a financial news reporter (Lynette Khalfani-Cox) with a 6-figure income who racked up over $100,000 in credit card debt trying to live a lifestyle that was beyond her means. Even big income people spend more than they make — at the same time that’s both refreshing and disturbing! She had to look in the mirror, confront the problem (it was her, not the credit cards), and decide to make a change in her lifestyle. While some of my friends have said “she’s making lots of money, it’s not a big deal,” there are a lot of people I have talked to who earn significant salaries but are struggling with debt. Debt problems happen all over the income spectrum. And, it’s often an embarrassment to the people going through it.
I’m happy to see that a public figure in the financial news industry is admitting to being just like the rest of the population. She had the knowledge to know what not to do. She had enough disposable income to live a very nice lifestyle. On the surface, she had it all. Underneath the surface, her financial life was a mess. Fortunately, she had the tools to turn her situation around and is now a best-selling author and financial coach.
Why do I point out her story? Because if someone like her, with all of the tools and knowledge and income, can fall into the debt trap then anyone can. So if this happens to be you, maybe with a smaller income (or maybe even a bigger income – how many pro athletes have we seen file for bankruptcy?), don’t get discouraged. There are ways out of debt, and there are a lot of resources at your disposal. The first step in becoming a success story is deciding that you are ready to make progress. From there, the rest becomes very manageable and there are blogs from my colleagues that can help you with specific debt management strategies. You just have to keep coming back and reading.