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Transform Your Finances in 2011 (transcript)

WLS - ABC 7 TV (Chicago, Illinois, USA), January 10, 2011

Landmark Spokesperson Deborah Beroset shares the 3 Cs Recipe to soothe your credit card hangover.

Sylvia Perez: If you're like most people, you may be feeling a financial pinch following the holidays and added some new debt to last year's debt. Well a consumer reports poll found more than 13 million Americans were still paying off credit card charges from the previous holiday season. So joining us this morning with some advice to help battle this holiday hangover is Deborah Beroset. She is a seminar leader with Landmark Education – has developed what she calls the "3 Cs Recipe". Welcome.

Deborah Beroset:


Thank you Sylvia.


Sylvia Perez:


Good advice this time of year, especially with everything that's been going on. But you say the first thing we must do in these 3 Cs is we must separate fact from fiction. So what do you mean by that?


Deborah Beroset:


That's right. The first C is "clarity" Sylvia, and what we mean by that is we teach people in our money seminars to think of themselves like a business where you improve your bottom line by either increasing your income or cutting your expenses, or both. But to do that, you have to have clarity about what are the financial facts. You wanna write those down – what do you owe; to whom do you owe it; what are the interest rates – because you wanna pay off those higher interest cards first. And then you also wanna look at what you've made up, what kind of conclusions you've drawn about those facts.

So we had a couple do our money seminar. They did the exercise. They realized, "Okay, we owe $80,000.00." But what the wife realized is that she had made up a story that they would never in their lifetime be able to pay it off, so she just kept spending the way she always had been spending.


Sylvia Perez:


Because it wasn't gonna matter.


Deborah Beroset:


That's right.


Sylvia Perez:


And then it was written down and she realized – you know, this is interesting too, because it's kind of like a diet where they always say the most successful people on diets are those who keep a log. And this kind of applies to this too.

Deborah Beroset: Absolutely, it does, because you're getting clear about what the facts are.
Sylvia Perez: Okay. So the next step is "commit to making these changes". So how do you even begin that?

Deborah Beroset:


That's right. Well basically, this is about backing up and looking at the big picture, and asking yourself or your partner if you're with someone, "What really matters to us," right? So you wanna look and see what is a project you could create, something that you could accomplish this year in this area that would really inspire you?

So our couple, they looked and they saw, "You know, what really inspires us is the possibility of early retirement." So they created a project around that and they posted on their refrigerator a countdown calendar that showed when the money they were funneling to their credit card debt would be able to start being funneled toward early retirement fund.


Sylvia Perez:


So it's goal setting basically.

Deborah Beroset: It's goal setting, but you know, with clarity and then the commitment. And then that of course, brings us to the final and really easy, often missed step, which is "calendar".

Sylvia Perez:


Okay, what does calendar mean?


Deborah Beroset:


Calendar is where you make sure that you've created a structure to take the right actions at the right time or you're not gonna win your game, right? So our couple, what they did was they set milestones, weekly milestones for themselves, and monthly, six-month, one-year. Then they used auto pay with their bank to set up payments. They used auto reminders on their Smartphone to help them remember to take those correct actions to win their game and now they are well on their way to that early retirement.


Sylvia Perez:


And that must be such a great feeling of accomplishment, because you were referring to the wife thinking, "We're never gonna pay for this."


Deborah Beroset:


That's right.


Sylvia Perez:


And now they have this set plan; and not only are they meeting it, but they're able to plan for the future, and that is really what makes the difference.


Deborah Beroset:


Exactly, exactly. Suddenly she had a future ahead of her where it made sense to stop buying the designer coffees and overspend on clothes and groceries and everything. So you know, they went, and we can all go from having that financial hangover headache to actually creating some peace of mind.


Sylvia Perez:


Great advice. Thank you so much for coming in Deborah.


Deborah Beroset:


Thank you so much for having me.


Sylvia Perez:


And if you'd like a recap on all the important information that she's given us, you can go to Landmark Seminar Education. And find out more about that, go to ABC7Chicago.com and click on "see it on TV".