“Money is for people who don’t play well with others.”
That’s what I saw on a bumper sticker yesterday, and I have to say, it gave me pause. I can’t judge the owner of the car that wore this bumper sticker, but it was a nice car. Newer than ours. A nice looking SUV. So, they obviously weren’t struggling. Or, maybe they were. To me, this statement represented one thing: yet another excuse for people not to take control of their financial lives.
It seems to me that reasons abound for not getting our finances in order. Everywhere you go, somebody has an excuse as to why they can’t, or shouldn’t get out of debt. And, in fact, I’ve used many of these myself. Some of the more popular ones?
“We just don’t make enough money.”
“I don’t want to deprive the kids.”
“We have too much debt. There’s no point in even trying.”
“I’ll work on it after……………”
“But, I need a new car (or a new house, new furniture, a new sweater, or that vacation).”
“It’s only $20 (or $50, or $100)”
It’s always easier to talk ourselves out of doing the hard stuff. After all, the easier stuff is, well, easier. But at what cost are we taking the low road? What affect will a lack of discipline in our choices today have on our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren tomorrow?
When we reach retirement age, will we be looking to our children to support us, or planning vacations in which we can take our children, their spouses and our grandchildren on trips that they would otherwise not be able to take? Will we be wondering where our next meal will come from, or planning grand dinners that we can serve in love to those around us?
We are now in month 3 of our journey to debt free, and there are still days when I have to work real hard to make a spending decision. The one vision that always helps me to say “no” to unnecessary spending is this one:
It’s a picture of Rick and I, playing joyfully with our kids. We have a free day, and the possibilities are limitless. There’s no more worry, stress or freaking out about money. We will plan what we want to do on one of those days based on what we want to do, not what we can afford. Our retirement days will be filled with choices, not fear. We will be blessings and not burdens to our loved ones.
To those struggling financially right now or those deep in debt, I ask you:
Look at the two roads before you. One is the road that you are on now, a road in which you will be at exactly the same place financially that you are right now: a place of worry, stress and uncertainty.
The second road is a road that starts out a tough road; a road of discipline, with hills to climb and mountains to move. But further on down the line, this road leads to a paradise in which money is no longer your master, but instead a blessing that allows you to have the freedom to not only never have to worry about cashflow again, but allows you to be able to help others as well.
It’s decision time now: Will you choose what’s comfortable, or will you take a chance and do something different? The different path may not be the easiest one, at first, but if you focus on the destination to which that road leads, I’ll bet you’ll find it a much happier, and a much more peaceful, joyful place. Which road will you choose?