What do overdue bills and hockey pucks have in common? Turns out a lot. As an avid hockey fan and (very) amateur player, I’ve found that this most beautiful game can teach us a lot about how best to deal with consumer debt.
Here are six examples:
1. Sometimes you have to get rough.
In the NHL (and many other leagues), you’re allowed to check a player to gain control of the puck. That means intense body contact. To get ahead and delete your debt at maximum speed, you’ve got to tackle those liabilities just as forcefully. Fight against your debt with all your might. Develop a strict budget, then decide on the highest amount you can possibly send each month. Plug the numbers into our debt payoff calculator to learn how long it will take until you can skate free from your bills. Get aggressive!
2. Stay out of the sin bin.
Break a rule as a player, and you’ll be sent to the penalty box. You’ll be out of the game for a time, not doing your team or your bill-paying efforts a bit of good. When it comes to debt, you also have to know and follow the rules. Pay your bills late and the penalty will be a ding on your credit report, which will lower your credit score, can increase your interest rate and may result in a late fee. Don’t pay at all and you could be sued.
3. There is pleasure (and pride) in pain.
The classic mark of a tough hockey player is a toothless grin, and it indicates a game hard won. Likewise, if you achieve your debt-payoff goal with extreme methods, whether by subsisting on rice and beans for months or working extra hours in the middle of the night, smile and show off what you did. Jump on CreditCards.com’s Facebook page and tell the world what you did. You earned this win against debt.
4. Sometimes you just have to skate out there.
In hockey, you may be battered, exhausted, scared and overpowered, but what do hockey players do? They lace up and skate out onto the rink, no matter what. When you’re tackling what may seem like overwhelming financial obligations, you may not feel like you’re up to the task. Take the first step. Get out on the ice, and start making a dent in your debt, Hockey’s “never give up” approach is just as essential to successful debt repayment.
5. Use every part of your body.
All great hockey players use their feet, bottom and shoulders to get the job done. They’re not just utilizing a stick. When you’re in debt repayment mode, give it all you’ve got. Use your brain to channel your emotions to put yourself in the right frame of mind. Use your body, too, to work a little harder.
6. Rely on your teammates.
During a game, six players from each team are on the ice. As allies they work together. In fact, when one player helps another score, it’s called an assist. In life, you may have more or fewer people on your side, but remember that your family and friends are all wearing the same jersey as you. Lean on them for an assist. In the debt deletion game, take advantage of your team members.
Ready for your faceoff with debt? Sure you are!