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When I was in Boy Scouts growing up in Tennessee, one of the things I learned working for my First Aid Merit badge was this: “If you came upon a person involved in the scene of an accident, and they are bleeding profusely, and they are not breathing, which need to you tend to first?” You stop the bleeding. If someone is bleeding profusely, you stop the bleeding first, because the person can bleed to death in a minute, but they can live without oxygen for 4 minutes.

If you are bleeding financially, the first priority is you have to stop the bleeding first. All new indebtedness has to end. If it means getting out the scissors and cutting up your cards, you do it. Yes, I am talking Visa-ectomy.

Freeze your cards in a block of ice and keep it in the freezer. That way, if you want to use them, you have to let them set out and melt (and by that time, you will usually change your mind about using them).

Will Rogers was known for his nuggets of truth. He said this: “If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you have to do is stop digging.”

If you are in a financial hole, stop digging. Stop any new charges. Make a decision to be done with debt. You declare war on credit. Decide to stop robbing from your future to pay for your past. From now on, you operate on a “Pay as you go” basis. If you don’t have the cash in your pocket or the cash in your checking account, you go without. You say to yourself, “If I can’t afford to pay cash today, then I can’t afford to pay

compound interest tomorrow.”