Strange as it might sound, initially, your tax bracket does matter. In the US, we have a class system of a sort, but its not dependent on what you look like or who you are…not strictly speaking, anyway. It has everything to do with what you earn and what you have in savings, which is a bit strange. Those who make $20,000 a year and pay their bills with no debt left over are consistently better off than those who make $100,000 and have debt up to their eyeballs. It’s a slight shift away from the American Dream that says that you can have everything you want and be happy if you’re rich enough, but its an important distinction to make.
Debt is a status-killer. Seriously. I’ve seen folks do very well for themselves on the surface, but be financially leveraged in such a way that they’ve not been able to put food on the table for themselves and their family without going further into debt. It’s a stark contrast from the ideals the media feeds us in the States, and its more than a bit miserable. You can have all the things in the world, but if you can’t keep your electricity turned on, be able to eat, or pay for your child’s tuition, you’re not going to be feeling powerful and well-off.
Thus, this is a bit of a PSA about debt and proper management thereof, since you can’t climb the social ladder if you’re not able to take care of your needs. Wants are great, but they aren’t everything. Fulfill your needs according to Mazlow’s Heirarchy and you’ll be more likely to be happy, especially if that doesn’t drive you further into debt. Managing your needs before your wants is key, and rest assured, any debt is a “need”, rather than a “want”.
This should readily impact our decision-making process too. If you’re going to do magic or have magic done, and one of the issues in your life is debt, attend that first. You can’t pursue the lady of your dreams if you’re up to your eyeballs in unpaid bills. We live in an age where some companies do credit checks before hiring or promoting folks, even…if you’ve got debt, you’re going to look like a patsy and you may be passed over. Attend debts before they grow to an insane level, as that’ll be one of the best ways to help yourself in the long-run.
If you’ve got the appropriate magical skillsets and want a free tip to recover your losses and move on up, here’s a short-winded path to follow:
- Tally up your debts. Figure out what has the highest interest rate, the lowest interest rate, the highest amount owed, and the lowest amount owed. Make a spreadsheet tracking them, then put them in order from highest to lowest.
- Work to pay off the highest of the high interest rate plans first $10,000 at 4.5% annual is a hell of a lot less annoying than $2,500 with a monthly rate of 45% (seriously, these exist: credit cards are becoming notorious for this).
- Get yourself a side business doing something you're good at. Whatever income comes in there goes to your debt.
- Perform magical workings to decrease your expenses and increase your earnings.
- Perform magical workings to recover your losses and expenditures with interest.
- Work your butt off.
Its not a perfect system, but its a hell of a lot better than many of these blundering half-assed plans that exist on the internet. You can even track your progress in a visual way using charts, if you choose. That's a good way to make yourself feel good, and the chart itself can become a sigil of your intent. We've got the technology, so if we're going to bother bettering ourselves, we might as well use it.
Anyways, just some rambly thoughts for the day. Be well folks!