How I Define C.R.E.D.I.T.

Loving Life How I Define C.R.E.D.I.T.

Credit is defined as the ability to obtain goods or services before payment is made, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future.  But here is how I define the word credit by each letter of the word:

(C) Is for Consumerism:

The reason I named my blog The Amateur Consumer is because, in fact, we are all amateurs when it comes to consumerism!  By definition, consumerism means the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable.  It also means a preoccupation with, and an inclination toward, the buying of consumer goods.  How exactly is consumerism economically desirable?

In a recent guest post titled “The Psychology of Consumerism”, David M. Carter, a graduate of the master of applied positive psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania wrote “Consumerism can be a devastating psychological addiction that saps our financial resources, well-being, and hope”.  This article is a must read in order to understand the Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation behind consumerism.  Believe me; you’ll be glad you did!

(R) Is for Responsibility:

Responsibility is defined as moral, legal, or mental accountability.  For me, the key word in that definition is accountability.  Mr. Carter goes on to say “If your consumerism is motivated by extrinsic values, as you continually seek financial gain and recognition by others in a seemingly never-ending display of profligate consumption (read; keeping of with the Jones’), you find that you have become addicted. “

He said “You are not even aware that this vicious cycle is happening and continue to ramp-up your acquisitive lifestyle, constantly seeking that which will make you feel fulfilled. It just never seems to happen, and you become depressed and often describe being lost.”  I know exactly what Mr. Carter is talking about because I have lived it.  Be accountable for becoming a better, more informed guardian of your own life!

(E) Is for Education:

Education is the key to avoiding credit and financial mistakes!  And without a doubt, the time to have a map is before you enter the woods, right?  So why are so many people truly amateur consumers?  Why do so many of us lack the basic financial “common sense” it takes to manage our lives so that we may live a happy and more fulfilling one?  Now, when I say common sense, what I mean is having a basic fundamental understanding of what it takes to be truly happy living your life, day in and day out.  Not knowing the difference between simple and compounding interest!

So many people confuse lack of financial literacy for lack of “life literacy”!  Understanding what it takes to live a life “debt-free” and on your own terms is something we should all strive for.  I know through my personal journey of surviving credit and financial hell that the biggest epiphany I have had has not been learning how to accelerate the process of credit recovery (yes, this is a fundamental shift in my blog), rather, it has been learning that income, savings, and frugality are the basic staples of “life literacy” if you want to live life on your terms, free from the chains of consumerism!

(D) Is for Discipline:

Every financial guru, credit and debt expert, or personal finance blogger has espoused the view that besides financial literacy, self- discipline is the key to managing credit and debt.  And while there is certainly truth to that statement, the real way to put the “ED” into C.R.E.D.I.T., is to first develop the mindset it will take to live that happy and fulfilling life and then applying self-discipline to that knowledge!

Self-discipline starts with the ability to change and create new habits and refrain from practicing old ones that in my case, led me and my family down the path toward credit and financial hell.  Again, if you can create the mindset necessary to learn how to become “life-literate”, you will never travel the bi-ways of credit and financial hell like I did!

(I) Is for Independence:

Independent is defined as; free from outside control, not depending on another’s authority.  Let’s look as some synonyms for the word independence; self–sufficiency, self-dependence, self-reliance, self-subsistence, self-support.  WOW!

If you are free from consumerism, debt, and the misuse of credit, and then apply self-discipline to your new “life mindset”, imagine what that life would look like?  I know, I know; it sounds like the cure for all your credit and financial ills; doesn’t it?  I can’t answer that question for you, but for me, this is exactly what it has meant.

Now I don’t want to mislead you; for sure, my $1.6 million dollar bankruptcy was a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. Unfortunately for me however, my epiphany came as a result of what I went through. It is my sincerest hope for anyone reading this blog that you can avoid going off that proverbial “financial cliff” and develop the mindset it will take to find that ‘Zen’ in your life.  To know what is truly important!

(T) Is For Transformation:

Transformation is defined as; an act, process, or instance of transforming or being transformed.  So the question here becomes; if you can understand consumerism, the psychology behind it, define what is important in life for you and your family, and then apply the self-discipline it will take to live it day in and day out, could you become independent from outside control and transform your current life into a more fulfilling and rewarding one?  As living proof, my answer is unequivocally YES!

What’s your answer? Please let me know below.  If you liked this article, please share it with your friends by clicking “Like”, tweeting it, adding it to your Google+ topics, or sharing it on LinkedIn icon smile How I Define C.R.E.D.I.T.

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