I was driving down the freeway and saw a billboard that read “Eliminate Your Debt.  File Bankruptcy” along with an ad for a bankruptcy attorney that promised to make your debt problems go away.

As I read it at 70 miles an hour, it hit me how finances is another place that a misguided world is looking for a fast solution to a problem that was built with years of poor financial choices (overspending and undersaving one day at a time has put most of us in the situations that we are in today).  And just like an over-eater who wants to lose weight, the solution cannot be found in a quick fix surgery or magic pill.  Even those who undergo surgery can only have true success when there is a lifestyle change in eating and exercise habits.  So too must you make a true lifestyle change to master your finances.  Instant debt elimination without a change of better spending habits will not keep you from finding yourself in the exact same situation 5 years from now.

Commit to making better financial choices.  Save more this year than you did last year.  Get credit card debt out of your life one card at a time.  Review your statements and bills to find those little fees and extra charges that are eating away at what you could be saving for tomorrow.  Commit to paying no more late fees or overage fees, and commit to earning interest rather than paying it.  You can do it.  It all starts with a decision.

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