Recently I decided to give up smoking. I was smoking too much, and I began not to enjoy the smoke. I started smoking a long time ago by having the occasional cigarette, then it developed into an addiction, but it took me quite some time to admit it. I never took my cigarettes when I went out, so there were many days that I didn’t smoke until I came home, but then I smoked like a chimney.

The incentive to stop smoking came when I travelled recently to Belgium for six days, for my nephew’s bar mitzvah, and during that time I didn’t at all feel the need smoke.  When I arrived back in Israel I decided I needed to quit.  It was not that easy; I allowed myself to buy a threesome cigarette packet every now and again, which was not very economical.  I found that using reverse psychology on myself was the best way for me to quit smoking.

I often ask myself, especially when I meet clients who have got themselves into a financial pickle, ‘Why did they not see that they are driving down the wrong lane, and then keep driving instead of stopping, turning around and make sure that they get back on the right track?’

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Why do we have to reach a certain point where we realise that we really are on the wrong track and we have to stop what we are doing otherwise there are going to be some serious consequences?

Why am I am telling you about quitting smoking?  Because I had reached the point where I knew that I needed to take action.  However, I was made even more aware of my situation through the massive advertising by the Ministry of Health screaming at me that smoking was dangerous to my health.

We are approaching the New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and if you know that you are on the wrong track make it your priority to reprogram your life’s GPS and become financially stable.

How do you know that the recipe that you are using is not working? Here are a number of examples: during the last year:

  • You have increased your line of credit at the bank;
  • You have taken out a loan to cover your over overdraft;
  • You have used a saving programme for your new car/the child/your holiday to cover your overdraft;
  • You have taken out a credit card loan because you have maximized your line of credit at the bank.

It is taken me a good month to stop smoking, not too bad. I am sure that I will still enjoy the occasional cigarette. However, the problem with finances is that it is very easy to fall into the debt cycle yet it will take longer to become debt free.

Statistics tell us that it takes minimum of three years to become debt free.  If you take control over your finances, it should take only three months to start seeing serious results; if you know what to look for. So make it your New Year’s resolution not to reach rock bottom and become financially stable.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, successful and financially stable New Year.