If you feel trapped in a barren wasteland of bad financial decisions, have hope that you are not alone.
"Everyone feels like they are bad with money," says Darryl Dahlheimer, program director at LSS Financial Counseling. "Part of the light side of the Force and the rebellion is to fight back and say no, we are all in this together."
Darryl Dahlheimer and financial educator Tonia Brinston are both self-proclaimed "Jedi Masters of budgeting.
"We’re always looking for ways to make financial education fun," says Dahlheimer. "No one wants to be lectured about your budget."
One of the financial seminars LSS Financial Counseling helped with last year was called "becoming a Jedi Master of budgeting."
"We think the dark side of the Force is debt and debt is easy to get into," says Dahlheimer, who points to payday loans as well as credit cards and student loans as reasons why debt is easy to incur. "When debt gets really bad, that’s like the Death Star which is a planet killer."
But never fear. You can use a debt management plan or a financial counselor as a way to save your financial planet. LSS Financial Counseling
offers free individual counseling services as well as providing a financial educator to speak to a group. They reach thousands of people in Minnesota each year.Any little bit helps
To begin climbing out of debt, start saving. Even if it is a few dollars at a time that contribution will help you save toward your goals.
"It is difficult to see, but always in motion is the future," says Tonia Brinston. "It’s hard to see that savings now, but in the future going forward keep contributing."
Then, when the dark side of debt and frivolous spending calls, fight back.
"How can you tell you are getting a call from the dark side of the force," asks Dahlheimer. "There’s an acronym called HALT. Never shop or spend when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired."
Dahlheimer says that extends to not only when you are shopping in stores, but at home online too.
Shannon Slatton, firstname.lastname@example.org
on Twitter: @sslatton