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Living with Numbers (Even If You Hate Them)

Most of us who are debtors are also numbers-phobic. We don't balance our checkbook, we don't look at our credit card balances (except to wince), and we don't have any clear idea of how much it costs us to live. When it comes to how much things really cost, we tend to go blank. We don't know how much money we need for food each month, or how much for fuel, or what we're spending at the dry cleaners. We don't know what's reasonable and affordable because we shut down every time we get near anything that resembles a budget. Somehow, when faced with the possibility of having to keep track of what we spend, we forget how to add.

With the Debt-Free Spending Plan all of that can change. We use the Plan to create an easy, straightforward and simple approach to our finances--an approach that doesn't control our life or sink us into numbers-hell, and one that does not require us to keep track of too many categories of expenses. Give a debtor a budget with 45 spending categories and I'll show you a debtor who will vaporize from the room in less than ten minutes.

Most of us debtors are very bright in other arenas of our lives. We may even manage money for other people, or raise funds, or be responsible for a department budget. But when it comes to our own financial life (and its attendant debt-stress), we check out.

The great thing about the Plan I've created is that it's so easy--and when it's easy on us, we tend to stay in. We don't have to know any software programs to make it work. We don't have to go back and re-work any of our past bank statements or financial transactions. We don't have to have any skills except one: addition. That's it. You need to know how to add. If you can do that, then you can do this Plan to live Debt-Free for the rest of your life.

So here's how we make peace with our numbers: we create a Debt-Free Spending Plan each and every month for all of our needs--including fun money, vacation money, and special savings accounts for things we love (like travel, for instance)--and we do that every month. Then we use a simple little notebook to gauge how much to spend each time we need money, separated by a few simple categories. Then, for the rest of your life--no kidding--you will be at peace with your numbers. You will no longer need to shut down when it comes to your finances. It won't be painful, it won't be drudgery, and it won't eat at your soul. It will be simple and it will address what you need.

I've simplified this here, but in truth, this is a fair and accurate description of the small amount of effort it will take you to begin to live within your means.

When we create and use our own Debt-Free Spending Plan (outlined in detail in my upcoming book), we stop the nightmare of increasing debt and check the haunting voices of our numbers-avoidance at the gates. Yes, it requires some focus. Yes, it requires working with numbers. But all you have to do is add. That's it. Honestly, if you can add, you can use this Plan to live debt-free for the rest of your life. Who wouldn't want to have that peace?

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