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Are you making enough deposits?

Experian are doing a big ad campaign at the moment encouraging you to find out your credit score. Reason being that if you know what your score is, you’ll know how likely (or not) it is you’ll be given credit from lenders.

They also promise to help find ways to improve your score if it’s bad (which you can pay for, but *News flash* – it turns out that if you have lots of debt, your rating is worse, so in order to improve your credit rating you have to reduce your debt, by making more deposits. Who’d have thought it…and yes that advice is free folks. You’re welcome 🙂 ).

Anyway this post is not about your finances, it’s about all aspects of your life.

Your bank balance is an obvious reflection of what you put in vs. what you take out. If you take out more than you put in, then you end up overdrawn and having to borrow from somewhere / someone else. This can lead to a negative spiral that can be hard to get out of and the longer you leave it the worse it gets. However this is also true for the other conceptual accounts such as your…

…Physical health account

Is your body a temple, or more like the Temple of doom? Do you stand up regularly or spend most of the day sitting down? Is your go to dessert fruit, or a cake? (Either is fine by the way, as long as 1. it’s a deliberate choice, and 2. you understand the cake continuum.)

The concept is easy. The more effort you put in to building up credit in this area, the more your body will reward you. The bigger the debt the bigger the risk to your quality and duration of life. Sounds dramatic? Good. It is. The consequence of long term debt to your physical health account can literally be the difference between life and death. I’m not just talking about exercise either; drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and eating a varied diet all play a role here.

Build debt by:

  1. Eating lots of cake

  2. Spending most of the day sitting down

  3. Smoking

Build credit by:

  1. Drinking lots of water

  2. Eating a varied diet

  3. Exercising

  4. Getting (at least) 7 hours sleep a night

…Mental health account

Do you pay attention to how you think day to day? Do you actively do things to reduce stress? How do you encourage creative thinking? Do you know what helps to lift your mood, versus what hacks you off?

Your mind is a muscle too. You can train it to do wonderful things and develop your processing ability, mental capacity, and positive outlook.

Build debt by:

  1. Complaining a lot

  2. Over analysing

  3. Spending too much time on social media

  4. Losing time to context switching

Build credit by:

  1. Keeping a gratitude journal

  2. Meditating regularly

  3. Socialising with people you like

  4. Spending time doing things you enjoy

…Trust accounts

Trust, like money, is something you earn and grow over time. It’s one of the most volatile stocks you hold, but any slight slip could make your integrity plummet. It can take a while to build trust, but you can lose it in a heartbeat.

Build debt by:

  1. Looking after number one

  2. Breaking promises

  3. Acting underhand

Build credit by:

  1. Demonstrating integrity

  2. Not over committing yourself

…Relationship accounts

Family, friends, colleagues. They are all part of your life and how you interact with them affects your wellbeing. This is closely linked with your trust accounts, but you can still have the trust of your family and be crap at keeping in touch.

Build debt by:

  1. Not making effort to keep in touch

  2. Being distracted and not paying attention when you’re with people

  3. Spend more time talking than listening

Build credit by:

  1. Maintaining regular contact

  2. Being present when your present

…Kindness account

Did you hold the door open for someone recently? Did you give someone a compliment today? When was the last time you said thank you to a colleague?

This is one of the easiest accounts to build up credit with very little effort. Don’t be fake. Just be nice.

Build debt by:

  1. Being a dick

  2. Lacking compassion and empathy

  3. Not offering to help

Build credit by:

  1. Showing vulnerability

  2. Putting others first

The list could go on, but the theme is constant. In all areas, not just your bank account. Debt = bad. Credit = good.

What next?

  1. Get a pen and paper and list the areas in your life where you’re regularly making deposits and building credit

  2. Identify the areas where you’re not

  3. For each of those determine if your balance is zero or whether you’re in the red

  4. Identify the biggest /most problematic area of debt

  5. Jump into action and commit to doing something about it. Make a deposit. Even a tiny one. Today.

It’s time to start building some credit.

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