By Winnie Kunene

I once worked with a colleague – let’s call her Eunice – who exhibited one of the toxic behaviours that I believe keep people from achieving financial freedom.

Eunice would let three months’ worth of mail pile up on her desk. She knew that she wasn’t paying her bills or meeting her commitments, but she wouldn’t open a single envelope and face the music. Eunice is a perfect example of the toxic behaviour of “living in denial”.

We all know that dreadful feeling of having to face up to something we’d rather not. And we know how easy it can be to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. If we don’t acknowledge it, we don’t have to deal with the consequences.

I tried to help Eunice. She needed a plan. I wanted to sit down with her and work out what she owed compared to how much she earned, and help her to create a repayment plan and then a savings plan. But she wasn’t interested, because she was so deep in denial and she couldn’t get out of it.

The thing is, people who carry on like this eventually get themselves into trouble. There are many reasons to confront debt and overspending as soon as possible, the most important of which is that someone will eventually take legal action against you. And even if it doesn’t come to that, every month that you don’t pay your debts, the interest is piling on and you end up owing more each month.

This is why it’s vital that you snap out of your state of denial TODAY. Work out how much you owe each month and how much debt you have, and subtract the monthly repayments from your income. What’s leftover is your disposable income – and you can’t spend a penny more.

While taking these steps can be painful, there is an immediate sense of relief in putting a plan in place. And the relief will grow each month as the amount you owe shrinks.

So if you’re a Eunice and you’re in denial, STOP! Open those envelopes, get out a calculator and work it all out TONIGHT. Meet your challenges head on and change your life. It’s not just about getting those creditors off your back; it’s about building a financially secure future for yourself, one step at a time.

About Winnie

Winnie Kunene is known by her followers as a money psychologist. She educates and helps people to get out of debt – and stay out! You can visit her website at winniekunene.co.za or email her on hello@winniekunene.co.za.

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