Chained to Debt

October 12th, 2009, by

Q: I have been following the “7 Money Mantras” for three years now and have gone from $21,000 on my credit card to $0! I still owe a pension loan for $2,000, but what a great lesson you taught me. I listen to the book on my iPhone often, to remind me.

My question is will you be extending the Money Mantras, now that the financial tide has turned for this country?

Poet Minor, Harlem, NYC

A: I’m so delighted that my book Spend Well, Live Rich has helped you get out of bondage.

That’s what I call it when you are in debt. It’s much like being a slave, because you are locked down and chained, in many respects.

So what are my money mantras? They are:

  1. If it’s on your ass, it’s not an asset! (I know that’s a bit risqué but necessary to get my point across, don’t you think?)
  2. Is this a need or is it a want? (Ask yourself this question every time you go shopping, and you will spend less.)
  3. Sweat the small stuff. (My grandmother, Big Mama, used to say you can’t have a dollar without a penny. She was teaching me that small purchases can sink your budget too.)
  4. Cash is better than credit. (It’s sad how so many people are mired in credit card debt. If you use more cash, you will spend less. I know I find it hard to spend with cash what I might with a credit card.)
  5. Keep it simple. (Con artists love to wow you with sophisticated sounding investment products. If you don’t understand something, don’t invest in it.)
  6. Priorities lead to prosperity. (When you budget and put the things you value most–tithing, an emergency fund, retirement savings or college fund–ahead of “stuff,” you will prosper.)
  7. Enough is enough. (Really, most of us have what we need. It’s our wants and inability to know when enough is enough that keeps us in debt.)

So, will I need to add more mantras because of the economy?


Basic, common sense financial principles are the same through good times and bad times.

(Photo by Darwin Bell)

Last modified: April 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm