Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck!

Put an end to the cycle and enjoy financial freedom

all carry messages about money we learn as children,” says Daisy Reese, a director at California-based Insight Financial Group and co-author of True Self, True Wealth: A Pathway to Prosperity (Atria Books/Beyond Words; $16.95). Reese and co-author Peter Cole, a chartered financial consultant and founder of Insight Financial, say most people act out one of 10 money scripts: co-dependent, coupon clipper, craver, gambler, hoarder, masquerader, power player, prince or princess, procrastinator, or victim. Reese says the Norwoods were operating under the co-dependent and the masquerader scripts. Co-dependents tend to put others first, while masqueraders typically desire to win admiration.

The Reformed Paycheck Watcher
“I’ve spent the past eight or nine years digging out of debt,” says Florida lawyer Veraunda Jackson. She remembers a time when _payday couldn’t come fast enough, as threatening letters from credit card companies poured in and she began to fall behind on mortgage payments. On the outside, she seemed to have it together. She was married, had just graduated law school, drove a new car, and was preparing to move into a new home. “It was 1995, and I had a retirement plan, an investment plan, and I was saving money,” says Jackson, 38. “But I was also living above my means.” A newly minted lawyer at the time, Jackson was making about $36,000 annually; her husband earned an equivalent salary. But l_iving in a two-income household gave Veraunda a false sense of security. As a result, she began to overspend. I spent more than $400 a month on clothes, purses, shoes, and eating out,” she recalls.

Shortly after Jackson and her husband moved into their home, she decided to redecorate, depleting her savings of $3,000. This proved to be a costly mistake. It wasn’t long before she and her husband separated, and Jackson was left with the couple’s $32,000 debt, composed
mostly of $20,000 in credit card charges. “After we separated he refused to pay for anything, and I couldn’t get money from him because I couldn’t afford to file for a divorce. By the time we went to court, I settled for him just signing over the deed to the house, and I assumed the mortgage,” she says. Jackson had to shoulder an $850 monthly mortgage payment and a mound of credit card bills.

The divorcĂ©e was determined to get back on her feet and out of debt. She saved enough money to start her own business in 1998, Everything Has a Price, a personal- and professional-development company, to supplement her income. But that _wasn’t going to be enough. “I was making money, but I was used to _living at a certain level. Trying to maintain my former lifestyle on one income was impossible,” she says. Jackson took action by working with an accountant and setting up a budget.

In 2000, Jackson left her job as a lawyer to run her business full time. Temping brought in an additional $1,000 each month, _allowing her to keep her company running. In addition, she rented out a room in her home

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