I have had many late nights laying awake in my bed thinking about the D Word.
How did I get into this mess?
Often this is the first place we go to when we are thinking about something we wish would just disappear. The credit cards, the student loans, the cars, even our house. Instead, the list and the number just keeps growing and you don’t know what the heck to do.
We keep telling ourselves that it won’t happen again, and you go outside searching for that four leaf clover to encourage your hope.
You buy that one dollar scratch card praying you would win just enough to pay it all off and take your family on a mini vacation.
Even if you did win, I’m not so sure things would be different.
Stay with me here.
As hard as it may be to see, there are reasons why this type of spending has happened.
I’ve noticed some patterns and I know them well because I’ve lived them myself.
But, I naively didn’t know any better. I was doing what I had been taught. I was filling a void in my life.
AND…this is okay.
I was in this situation in my life for a reason.
It was part of my pursuit of happiness.
Change truly happens when we change our habits.
First, start with mindset.
Get honest with yourself (spouse included) and dive head first into why you want things to be different and how want to feel at the end.
Write this out and post it in places you would see often throughout the day. Seeing is believing. Writing this before bedtime allows your mind to be super focused on it.
Next, list your debts.
Listing your debts from smallest to largest is a method called Snowball Debt. This allows you to pay off your smallest debt in the quickest way and feel momentum and success quickly. Once you pay off that first debt, you then add that payment amount to the next debt in line (hence the snowball – it’s rolling over and getting bigger). Continue to do this until all your debts are gone!
Finally, show gratitude.
Being content with what you have is something that seems like such a small ant hill, but this is huge. Often we get caught up with other people’s lives on social media and how perfect they seem to have it. With every post and picture, these people get to CHOOSE what they share with you. In addition to choice, who knows how they are paying for that shiny new car (maybe it’s a lease), or that vacation (payments will be made for years because it’s on the credit card). Stay in your lane, and love that life that you GET to choose how to live (and how you’re teaching your children how to live).
Most of all, we get to choose this life.
We can choose how focused we want to be on our goals including being debt free. If we are persistent, things will pay off and it will be worth it one day.
I look forward to the day in the near future when I can look to you and tell you, “I’m Debt Free” and you can look at me and say, “I am, too!”
Virtual High Five