This is one of my favorite traditions because it has been so liberating to apply this in my personal life. When I first came into the programs, I was deeply in debt, living 2 paychecks behind, and playing beat the bank and con the creditors games. I spent a good deal of time making up reasons why I could not pay the bill or why once again, I had more than 10 bad checks to pay off each month. If the bank confronted me or “unfairly” overcharged me for bad checks, I would stomp out and go down the street and start up an account with another bank.
It took a very strong and kind sponsor to teach me a new way of acting on life that I have used for over 20 years:
- Pay off all debts.
- Create no new debt.
- Put something into savings each month in a bank outside of town.
- Get rid of all credit cards, checking accounts, and credit/debit cards.
- Live on 1/3 of my income, purge unused things, downsize, and live simply so that others can simply live. Life has never been better. It feels good to sleep unfettered by money nightmares. Living on a cash only basis gives me freedom from surprises at the end of the month. And, when there is an emergency repair or illness, there is a prudent reserve to draw from. Tradition 7 works when you work it.