Monday, December 14, 2009

Zero Balance

Your credit card’s statement of account has just arrived. You were terrified to open it. You didn’t want to know your total liabilities. But the white envelope was in front of you. You tore one end, nonetheless. You pulled the white rectangular sheet of paper inside. Five digit numbers greeted you. The due date is less than a week. Your cash is only good enough for the essentials. You were so worried. But the financial agony didn’t end there. The next day, the electricity bill was delivered. Minutes later, a messenger knocked and gave you your recent water billing. In the afternoon a courier came and gave your telephone and DSL statement of account. Expenses are piling up. Your cable bill is not yet in the list. With your limited resources you feel that only miracle can save you.

What will you do?

a. Find a Bumbay. Go for 5-6.
Consequence: Bumbay, bank or any private money lender entails interest.
Warning: It’s a never ending story.
b. Disregard your debts. Pay them when you have more than enough.
Consequence: Next month your credit billing is equal to: Amount due + monthly interest. And your house might be the only one in your community without electricity, water supply and a phone ringing.
c. Find a new house and change your contact number.
Consequence: Do it if your conscience can take it.
d. Pay your electricity, phone and water bill. Then, call your credit card company and ask for a settlement. Make it installment instead of one-time payment.
Consequence: Honesty might just save you. There’s interest but at least you don’t have to pay the whole amount at once.
e. Sell some of your properties that you think you can live without. Pay all your liabilities. Then, tear your credit card into small pieces and throw it away.
Consequence: Somehow, you’ll feel depressed but eventually you will learn to live according to your means.

In Psychology, Habits are automatic routines of behavior that are repeated regularly, without thinking. They are learned, not instinctive, human behaviors that occur automatically, without the explicit contemporaneous intention of the person( Taking a bath everyday and brushing teeth after every meal are typical habits of a responsible adult. When we were still kids our parents were doing it for us regularly. Consciously and unconsciously we are also being taught about the benefits of good grooming. But as we grow up and becoming more independent, we learn to take charge and like how our parents would do it, we do it regularly until it becomes a habit - neither planned nor dictated; it’s automatic.
I’m sure everyone would agree that money is important. We need money to buy to food, clothes, celfone load and MRT ticket; to pay our bills, tuition fee, insurance and taxes etc. In short, we need money to survive most specially if you are living in an urban society. But earning a living is not an easy thing to do. Worse, when money touches our hands a mountain of temptations are always ready to entice us. Will you entertain the seduction until you get zero balance? Or weigh your priorities and budget your finances?

It’s up to you.

P.S. Did you see yourself in the first paragraph?
If yes, here’s my simple advice: Next time, Make Saving a Habit.If no, here’s my simple advice: Make Saving a Habit and Have a Merrier Christmas.

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