I spent a bit of time conversing with a client recently, and the topic eventually turned to a pretty drastic bit of debt that they'd incurred over the past decade. That conversation has motivated me to post a bit of information about dealing with debts from a magical point of view, as it is, largely, neglected when we talk about actually doing magic and getting results.
We've all got debts to deal with, in one form or another. Sometimes its a mortgage, and other times its car payments, credit card debt, college loans, or some other such source of fiscal woes and pressures. There's a trend I've noticed amongst folks, however; we tend to be really bad at actually looking at these debts critically. We don't bother to crunch the numbers and figure out how long it'll take us to pay off our new car, stereo, knife set, handgun, or books. Instead, we just run out, drop a bunch of cash, and say "I'll worry about it later", only, we don't actually deal with it later. We do the same damned thing again a few weeks later, and eventually it starts adding up. The interest rates go up as the balance due goes up, and it quickly spirals out of control. This isn't healthy, and ultimately it leads to us having less money in our pockets each month than we would have if we were smart about it.
This brings us to the first tip: think long and hard about what it is that you want to buy. How much enjoyment/use will you get from that item for the price? Will it last long enough for you to capitalize on it? To put this into terms that are easier to understand, I'll use myself as an example: I compare my purchases to tanks of gas or going out to eat. I have a pretty solid handle on what both of those things are worth to me, so when I compare buying a new movie to a tank of gas, I can usually tell, fairly quickly, if it'll be worth it to me to pay the cash for it. This keeps me from spending inordinate sums of money on relatively silly things. It might sound odd, but give it a shot; I have yet to have someone tell me that this method wasn't useful.
My second piece of advice to you would be to be even more critical of larger purchases, such as buying a new car. Let's say you buy a solid used car for 13k and you make 80k a year; chances are you'll be able to put away at least 5k a year to pay this off. Even at a high interest rate, you'll have that car paid off in 3 years. Now, lets say you have no credit, 20% APR, you make 40k a year, and you're going to pay off the same car. Paying 5k off is not likely to occur in the best of situations, so let's say, instead, that you're going to pay off 2.5k a year and refinance at the end of the year. For that first year, you're going to be treading water and building credit by making your monthly payments - you're not actually going to be making a lot of leeway there (maybe you'll pay off 800$ to 1000$), so at the end of that year, you'll refinance your 12k remainder's APR to 13% or so (I'm being generous). Staying at the same wage and payment rate, it'll take you 7 years or so to pay off that car, and in today's age, a lot of the newer models don't last that long. Domestic vehicles are notorious for breaking down after 100,000 miles, so if you only drive 10,000 miles a year, you'll be fine. If you drive 30,000 miles a year, however, you're going to wear out the car before you can make good on all of your payments, and your cost of repairs is going to go way up, making it more difficult for you to pay off your debts. This is why its important to choose wisely and ensure that you don't try to live outside of your means, no matter what society tells you.
Thirdly, have a plan. This may sound simplistic and trite, but in order to be successful in today's day and age, you need to have a flexible plan and an exit strategy. Without those two things, at some point you'll hit a wall that you won't be able to break down, walk around, or climb, and that's never good.
Fourthly, when you have that plan, do not be afraid to use magic to make it happen smoothly. If you lack the ability to do that yourself, contact someone who does have that ability and discuss your plan with them. At the very least, that individual may be able to help you make some mundane improvements, and, at the most, that individual may be able to help you make that dream a reality.
In sum, if you're going to want to ensure that you'll have both the wealth and longevity that you covet, you need to be smart about it. That means that you need to spend and save wisely; its difficult, but incredibly worthwhile.
Hope that makes sense.