Experts on credit: Oops, you did it again


Maybe you used the credit card to buy something you didn’t really need, even though you’ve sworn not to time and time again. Maybe you found yourself clicking “checkout,” even though you promised to stop online shopping. Or maybe you just found yourself discouraged by the number in your bank account… again.

Either way, you’ve had a financial relapse — you did something to set back progress toward your goals, even though you knew better.

It sucks. It’s enough to make you throw up your hands and quit.
But here’s the truth: It’s part of the process.

Research¹ suggests there are six steps to changing behavior:
1. Pre-contemplation
2. Contemplation
3. Preparation
4. Action
5. Maintenance
6. Relapse

Why is relapse the final step? Because it’s an opportunity. It reveals the limitations in your strategy, unnoticed behavior triggers and, above all, new areas for growth.

This is good to acknowledge, but it’s a far cry from how relapses make you feel. They feel like proof-positive that you’ll never change, that you didn’t change. You fell back into your old behaviors.

But nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is relapses merely point you to deeper truths about yourself – and what you are capable of.

So, next time you feel down about a hard-to-break financial habit, give yourself some grace. Examine what happened, and integrate what you learn into your strategy.

Consider meeting with us to formulate a plan. We can help you process what happened, refocus on your goals and create a strategy to prevent future relapses.

We created Next Level Credit to educate and help people in all areas of financial matters. We have more than 300 case studies to show you how others have done it ( and can lead you to setting the proper blueprint for your financial wellness through an easy-to-follow, five-step process that can be found at

Don’t let the negative news on the economy and rising interest rates give you the blues. You control your financial destiny, and Next Level Credit can provide the guidance and support to help you achieve all your financial goals.

Jimmy Rios has been an entrepreneur for 20 years in the financial services areas. Jimmy and his wife Sylvia Rios are licensed in real estate and life and health insurance.

¹ “Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model for Social Workers,” Yeshiva University, May 11, 2021

Jimmy or Sylvia Rios live in Maricopa and can be reached at 480-935-6049, 480-341-2901, or Their website is 

This sponsored content was first published in the August edition of InMaricopa magazine.