Back when I was younger and less wise, I would pay the bare bones minimum due for my credit card bills.

If it said $25, then that’s what they got. $25.

And I even grunted and groaned to pay that.

But then I got smarter. I learned more. I found mentors like Jim Rohn and Larry Winget.

All this new knowledge I found explained to me the folly and dangers of paying just that minimum amount.

The grim reality is that if you just pay the minimum payment each month, you will spend way more in interest than you ever should. Not to mention the fact that it will probably take you your lifetime to pay the debt off, especially if the tab is high enough.

The credit card companies WANT you to pay the minimum amount, for these very reasons. They WANT you to take 500 years to pay them off because they know you will end up paying for that item or items several times over if you do that.

But you need to be smarter than that.

Next time you get a bill saying the minimum payment due is $25, pay $30. Or $50. Or heck, even $21 if you really think that is all you can afford to pay above and beyond.

Think of it this way. It makes no sense to rationalize that you cannot afford an extra buck or two or twenty above the minimum BUT that you WILL be able to afford the 22% interest rate on that stack of DVDs.

And here’s a little more tough love. Why do you think you can only afford the BARE MINIMUM?

It’s a lie!! You are lying to yourself!! Fooling yourself!!

If you went to the gas station and gas was $4.00 a gallon yesterday but $4.25 today, you’d still fill up your tank. Why? Because you HAVE to.

If the clerk at the store said the M&Ms you were buying cost 99 cents a pack instead of 89 cents, you probably wouldn’t put them back would you?

The point is, we pay above and beyond ALL THE TIME without even questioning it!

We get this false impression that our debts and liabilities and responsibilities are OPTIONAL.

They are NOT optional. Far from it.

They ARE your responsibility. That’s why they are CALLED responsibility.

The only person you are hurting by paying the minimum is yourself. The credit card companies LOVE you. They want to CLONE you.

No one is asking that you necessarily pay the WHOLE BALANCE at once. Lord knows, I certainly can’t do that, as much as I would like to.

But you CAN and SHOULD and, really, MUST pay more than the minimum.

Become conscious of this when your next round of bills come in. You will feel GOOD and EMPOWERED after your slight hesitation (and perhaps a little initial anxiety) when you pay down your debt a little more.

Start off slow if it makes you feel better. Make that $25 payment $26 or $28 or $30 instead.

Next thing you know, it becomes a habit. An EXCELLENT habit.

And you will find that it gets easier with every passing month of incoming bills.

Pretty soon you will laugh at your bills. I do that now. Even if I don’t have the money to pay them all off, I do have enough money to pay them DOWN. Sometimes a little and sometimes a lot.

And so do you.

If you insist on lying to yourself that you can’t afford it, be sure to remind yourself of that when you buy that $2 soda or $4 coffee. Ingesting caffeine may be a daily ritual for you, but it’s certainly not paramount to your success and bottom line.

In fact, surveys show that people spend THOUSANDS of dollars every year on soda and coffee.

The same people who insist they can’t afford a vacation or going to the movies or filling up their gas tank. You had it for the soda and coffee. You have it for paying your debts, too.

As mentor Jim Rohn always said, “Anyone CAN. Not everyone WILL.” Pretty powerful thought. And filled with so much truth.

Anyone CAN lose weight, read more books, earn more money, be happier at home and at work, pay debts down, clear out clutter, etc.

Anyone CAN. Not everyone WILL.

Go the Extra Mile and be one of the ones who WILL.

Go the Extra Mile towards your elimination of debt and clearing the way for your bright and fruitful future of abundance and security and peace of mind.