Bankrupt Stars and Two Keys to Staying Out of Debt
Do you know what MC Hammer, Burt Reynolds, and Michael Jackson have in common? How about we add Dionne Warwick, Wayne Newton, and Toni Braxton to the list? Any guesses? Here’s a hint: we are not talking about entertaining. Well there are SEVERAL different actors, musicians, and noteworthy personalities that have either gotten themselves into great financial distress. They may have even filed for personal bankruptcy (source, source).
Here’s another name you can add to the list: Natalie Cole. So sad because she makes such great music, especially on her Take a Look CD-my personal fave (source). And what about Donald Trump? Although he has personally not filed bankruptcy, at least four of his business ventures have (source). And as mentioned above there is Toni Braxton. I just don’t get how Toni Braxton was able to buy a 3 million dollar home just 6 months after she filed for her second bankruptcy (source). Isn’t there some kind of law in place that you just can’t turn around and do something crazy like that after declaring bankruptcy? Sometimes I just don’t understand the world…
All of the aforementioned stars have seen some big paychecks, bigger than most of us could dream of. As the Good Book says (Fiddler on the Roof anyone? We just watched it recently~they were referring to the OT of course) in Luke 16:10, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” I mention these stars because I don’t want you to think that coming in to a ton of money is going to magically solve your financial problems. If you can’t control money on a small scale, you won’t be able to handle money on a big scale either. Said another way, the biblical principle is simple: if you are not good with little, you surely will not be good with abundance. You have to consciously change your mindset about money if you find yourself in a financial fiasco.
So for the two keys to getting out or staying out of debt:
Take care of your obligations. If you owe any bills, pay them right away. Don’t ignore them. Don’t look the other way. Face the debt. Own your mistakes. And now go show the world you’ve learned your lesson. If the bills have accumulated, focus on slaying the debt one bill at a time (keeping current on the rest of them). As an aside, if you’re married, do bills with your spouse so all parties are aware of the financial status and you can get on the same page.
And secondly, treat every dollar (or really, penny) like it counts. Don’t say to yourself, “this doesn’t cost that much.” Or “it’s on clearance.” Or “$50 isn’t much.” Or “$5 isn’t much.” It’s a lie. It ALL adds up. You can use everyone of those dollars to climb the ladder toward debt-free bliss.
So if you don’t need it, don’t buy it! Don’t try to justify unnecessary expenditures. Oftentimes that little four-letter “N”-word, “need” needs to be redefined. WHAT exactly is a true need? Food, shelter, and love are needs. Need is not a boat. Need is not yet another outfit. Need is not coffee at Starbuck. Need might not be a car, and usually doesn’t mean it has to be new either.
As I’ve said before, we get in debt dollar by dollar, and we get out of debt the same way: dollar by dollar. Don’t tell yourself that one little dollar doesn’t matter. Don’t tell yourself that you need the Walmart hat on clearance for $1 when you already gave 5 others at home. Don’t tell yourself the $0.75 candy bar doesn’t matter. I’m here to tell you every last penny counts. It all adds up, and don’t let others including yourself convince you otherwise.
Wherever you are on your journey, want to join me in being/getting/staying debt-free?