Credit Card Management

Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

262-September 19

“I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.”—H.H. Munro

Credit cards can be wonderful, useful tools of convenience when used correctly. Toni Morton, an office manager at my bookkeeping service, shared a great way to manage credit card expenditures and stay debt-free. Every time she used her credit card, she deducted the amount of the charge from her check register, just as if she had written a check. She never used the card unless she had the money in her checking account. By deducting the amount when she made her purchase, she always had the money to pay the card off in full each month when the bill arrived.

For example:

Date                For                         Amount        Bank Balance

$2,000

4-1                   Rent                     $700             $1,300

4-2                   Groceries               $100             $1,200

4-3                   Credit card            $100*           $1,100

4-6                   Credit card            $50*             $1,050

4-10                 Car payment          $250             $800

4-15                 Insurance               $100             $700

4-20                 Personal care         $100             $600

4-20                 Groceries               $150             $450

4-21                 Credit card            $100*           $350

4-25                 Utilities                 $150             $200

4-27                 VISA bill              $250*           $200

* $250 already deducted

But credit cards are doom to your budget, your bank account, and your financial future if you go “shopping for love” without the money to pay your credit cards off in full each month. Grocery stores take credit cards because it has been proven that consumers spend 20-30 percent more if they use a credit card rather than cash. You need to think of credit cards as debit cards, with the money coming right out of your bank account.

If you don’t have the cash, don’t use the card!

Today’s Affirmation: “I have fun with my funds because I manage them well!”

I got the idea to do this book as a page-a-day book while I was driving in the car, thinking about all I knew and taught in my Financial Stress Reduction® Workshops and how best to communicate that in a book. There are many financial books in the financial section of the bookstores – but most people avoid them in droves. They look too hard, are too condensed, too focused on facts and figures and hard work. I knew that entertaining stories with a money twist to them were the best way of teaching this material.

Like a bolt of lightning, suddenly I made the connection between the little booklet “The Daily Word” published by Unity Church and the book I wanted to create. “The Daily Word” is just a small page for each day with an encouraging message and a quote, and I have been reading it since the 70s. And so “The Wealthy Spirit” was born…

Here is a recent passage from “The Daily Word” that I found very helpful. It’s referring to your spiritual practice, but it applies to your financial practice, too:

“My spiritual practice is a journey, not a destination. Sometimes I put pressure on myself to be the perfect expression of God. I imagine I must meditate in a specific manner, pray in a certain way, or connect with Spirit using one technique or another. I tell myself I must be a perfect spiritual student and role model at all times.

No wonder I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders! When I pause in the silence, I realize this is a spiritual practice and I am a work in progress. Each day I set the intention to be my personal best and then I take authentic action. If I misstep, I simply forgive myself and begin again. I practice being an expression of God in my own, unique, perfectly imperfect way.”

For more information about Unity and to subscribe to “The Daily Word”, go to www.unity.org. For prayer, call: 1-800-669-7729