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Are You Financially Fit?
by Joan Peterkin

Are you financially fit? If not, can you become financially fit?
What does it mean to you to be financially fit? Financial fitness
is very personal and can only be determined by you.

Just like your physical fitness your financial fitness is as
important and should be as equally high on your list of things to
do. The strength of your financial fitness contributes your
physical fitness also.

Financial fitness starts with debt management. Do you have a debt
problem? Do you have high interest, unsecured revolving debts?
If you do, this is the first place to start on your journey to
financial fitness. Reducing, controlling and eliminating these
kind of debts will contribute greatly to your fitness journey.
Eliminating high interest credits cards debts will turn off the
tap which has your cash going down the drain.

There are several ways to reduce your debt. First, debt reduction
must start with purpose and benefit. You must determine why you
want to reduce your debt. How will you benefit from having a
reduced debt load and what impact will these benefits have on
your quality of life, long and short term. By knowing why you
want something and how you will benefit from having it, is part
of "psyching" up yourself. You become emotionally committed to
the task and are willing to see it through. Now, you can create a
plan which works for you and helps you to achieve your goal.

Get started by recording all your debts. This lets you know where
you are now. Decide when you would like in a better financial
place. Get started and track your progress.

Consolidate your debts to a lower interest rate - you can ask
your bank for a consolidated loan. This loan should be an amount
enough to pay off all your credit cards, personal loans and line
of credits in full. Try to negotiate the lowest interest rate
possible. Remember the interest rate you qualify for is also
determined on how creditworthy you are.

Another option is Independent Debt Management companies who
specialize in helping middle income consumers choose a debt
management process that is best for them, often at a lower cost
than the banks. Do your research and find one who fits your
needs.

Now, get rid of all your cards except one. The one you keep
should offer the best interest rate and annual fee. You should
only use your card for emergencies while you are on this journey
of financial fitness.

Refinance your house - By using the equity in your house to pay
off your credit cards, student loans and personal loans will help
you to qualify for a lower interest rate. Your high interest
debts are now secured by your home. You are now paying less in
interest and your monthly payments made on your debts are
reduced.

Protect your credit rating - If you do not qualify for a
consolidated loan or you do not have a house with equity for
refinancing, all is not lost. You just have to make a decision to
become debt free on your own. Become disciplined with yourself
and your spending. Develop a debt free plan that works for you.

You can start by listing all your debts in order of amounts,
interest charged and balances. Call all your lenders and ask them
to reduce your minimum payments requirements, they will be very
happy to help make your payments easier.

Now that your monthly minimums are lower, you will have increase
cash flow to start the "paying off process".

By paying off your lowest balance first, then the second lowest
balance, then the third lowest. As you pay off each card, you can
add that payment to your next card. With this process you will
see results quickly and you will be more encouraged to continue.
Reward yourself with a non-credit gift each time you pay off a
card. You have earned it!!! Track your progress and before you
know it, you will become debt free!

Now your disposable income can do more for you. You are back in
control of your cash flow and should be able to re-direct it to
saving for emergencies, retirement, vacation, new home, gift,
education.

Track your spending on everything: lunches, coffee, clothes,
dinners, entertainment, gifts, all your wants and "must haves".
Look for areas where you can make creative cuts. Small cuts can
make a big difference. Use only one credit card and try to pay
the full balance each month.

You can and should make your financial fitness a priority at all
times. Your financial fitness contributes to your physical
fitness, your current lifestyle and future security.

About the Author:
Joan Peterkin is President and Founder of Wealth Initiators Inc.,
providing a fresh approach to financial freedom that gives
families a better understanding of their financial choices. Joan
helps families, in Ontario, Canada, transition from being in debt
to building long-term wealth and financial security. Get her FREE
report "The Top 7 Reasons to Live a Debt-free Life" by sending an
email to: mailto:wealthinitiators@sendfree.com . For more
information, visit Joan's website at
http://www.WealthInitiators.net or call 416-497-6786; toll-free:
1-866-410-6099.

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