Maxed to the Limit

The average credit card debt per household in America is just under $16,000.  The obesity rate in America is now at a staggering 36%.  I want to compare credit card debt to obesity and see if there is a correlation between both in how we got ourselves into the problem and with how we get ourselves out of the problem.

The questions are how did we get into debt and how do we get ourselves out?  The question of how we get into debt is pretty consistent across the board.  Most Americans don't accumulate debt overnight.  It starts with just one purchase at a time.  We then make the mistake of making the minimum payment each month which just helps us cover the interest on our rising debt.  Usually several years down the line, we are up to our eyeballs in debt and find ourselves staring down a long road to financial recovery.

The same can be said about weight gain and obesity.  We don't get fat overnight.  Just like a credit card, we accumulate a little at a time (a Twinkie, bowl of chips and salsa, late night ice cream) and make minimum payments (a little exercise here and there), when before you know it, you are staring at a large number on the scale, that is of course if you can see the scale at all.

So we know how we get ourselves into debt both physically and financially.  The question remains as to how we get ourselves out of debt.   I am not talking about people who pay off their credit card at the end of each month just as do some people consistently watch what they eat and exercise therefore eliminating any possible debt.  As mentioned before, some people try to make the minimum payment possible.  This will never get you out of debt anymore than going for a walk and eating a salad once a week will help you lose weight.  Some people try to move their debt around to other cards with lower interest rates.  I would compare this to those people who constantly try new diets and methods without truly attacking their health debt.  The last group of people are the ones who attack their debt head-on.  They have recognized the problem, determined an effective method of attack, and start implementing those methods to eliminate their debt. 

The keys to success with both types of debt is consistency and time.  Debt, both financially and physically, usually accumulates over many years.  Paying off debt takes time as well.  Very rarely can someone pay off $16,000 over night just like most people can't safely and legitimately lose a lot of weight in a matter of days, weeks or even months.  Debt usually accumulates over time and is also paid off over time.  The key is to work hard towards paying off that debt and to stay committed.  Lastly, try not to sabotage your progress with mindless spending and that late night bowl of ice cream.  Before you know it, you will have money to spare instead of a spare tire around your waist.

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