Monday, June 7, 2010

Budget Extra for Feelings

 By Avis Cardella, author of "Spent: Memoirs of a Shopping  Addict."

DailyWorth recently reviewed Spent. The following is an exclusive post by Cardella for our readers.

So often we focus on the dollars and cents necessary to get our financial life back on track—and fail to acknowledge the emotional currency required.
After years of struggling with a compulsive shopping disorder, I faced this issue when I had to grapple with my credit card debt. Obtaining the money to pay back my debts was one thing; creating a sustainable emotional budget was another.

No pain, no gain
I had been taxed by fear and loathing for far too long. I feared facing the numbers on my credit card statements, and loathed the idea of having to contact a credit-counseling agency.

I needed a strong dose of courage to help me take that first step and contact a credit counselor. I can’t remember how many times I picked up the phone, only to put it down without making the call.

Eventually, I did muscle-up some bravery and as soon as I heard the counselor’s voice, I knew I was doing the right thing.

I was carrying close to $9,000 in debt at that time, which may not sound monumental, but on my freelance writer’s salary, it was enormous. I wish I had budgeted more strength for the pain of revealing those cold, hard numbers to a total stranger—and for the bad news.

The counselor calculated that with payments of $175 a month, I could pay off most of my debt in forty-four months—nearly four years. I was stunned. It sounded like an eternity of paying for things that were probably gone, or never used. It took me while to cope with the shock.

Read more about Avis Cardella's emotional budget here.

Check out her website here.

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