Stop, Slow, Go – The phases of financial freedom
submitted by Lisa Walter, blogger for Credit Counseling Center
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every single one of us in some way.
I wanted to share how the recently released color-coded phases, with guidelines for “reopening,” have caused me to reflect on my own personal debt-free journey.
I immediately began making connections of what life was like during our red phase to financial freedom.
At the beginning of this phase, my husband and I were drowning in debt and sought guidance from professionals at the Credit Counseling Center. Our counselor gave us the most beneficial check of our financial journey…a reality check.
We immediately stopped using credit cards, lived by cash only, and prioritized building our savings.
Because of this, we said, “No” to many things for a while. We were in complete shutdownmode and stopped doing things from our previous way of living. Together, my husband and I adapted and developed new routines, in order to prepare for a financially healthier yellow phase.
The yellow phase of financial freedom isn’t nearly as strict as the first phase, but you must still proceed with caution. In this phase, you’ve adapted smarter spending routines. Your debt is getting paid down and you have cash available for your basic needs. You do not have to say, “No” to everything, but you have the skills to plan ahead.
The green phase of financial freedom is where we all want to be. Maybe you still have a mortgage payment, but all those annoying credit cards are a thing of the past. You have cleared the bulk of your debt and your savings account is strong. Strong enough to tackle 3-6 months of expenses in the event of a job loss. Strong enough to not cringe when you have to purchase a new dishwasher because your current one decided to go wonky.
I recommend everyone sit down and make a list of restrictions and goals for each phase. What debts do you need to pay off? What things will you cut out to become financially stronger? It is never too late to take control. Get started by planning out your own three phases of guidelines to achieve personal financial success.
Need Help, Call the Credit Counseling Center today 215-348-8003. Follow my blogs at www.creditcounselingcenter.org.
PHOTO CAP: Paula Powers-Watts, Laurie Selitto, and Erica Librach, members of the counseling team.