One of the things that’s seriously on my heart these days is the seeming inability of so many who are deep, deep in debt to be able to take that first step to get out. My deep in debt friends, you deserve debt freedom so much, so today I’d like to address some of the possible reasons you’re avoiding taking that first step to debt free, in hopes that you’ll get up the courage to take that first step to financial freedom.
I Feel Too Overwhelmed by the Thought of the Journey
Man, can we identify with this. Honestly, a year and three months in, there are still many days when we feel completely overwhelmed by our debt and our steps to get out of debt. It’s going slower than we’d like, and although we continue to cut expenses and increase income, we still feel like we’re in that “carrying away small stones” part of the debt payoff journey, and honestly, it sucks.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the thought of this journey, I always get a vision of myself walking through a big, deep mud pit. I envision myself at the beginning, and I take into view the “other side”. I see myself lifting up my boots and taking one, slow step at a time through the muck in order to get to the other side. This is what debt payoff feels like sometimes, however, the thought of staying there at the beginning, living in the muck forever, is much, much more unacceptable than the often slow and tedious journey to the other side, because on the other side of that mud pit is a beautiful oasis of joy, freedom and financial peace.
When the thought of paying off debt becomes too overwhelming for you, it’s time to envision yourself having finished the journey, and enjoying the nice, sandy beach oasis on the other side. Yes, the journey to get there will be difficult, but not nearly as difficult as staying in the mud pit of debt forever. If you’re going to be in the mud anyway, you might as well start making the trek to the other side of the mud pit, and know that one day you WILL step out into the oasis of debt freedom.
I Don’t Want to Change My Lifestyle.
When considering a debt payoff journey, it is difficult to come to terms with the fact that you’ll have to give up some stuff that brings you joy. One of my biggies was going out to eat. Rick doesn’t understand why I love to eat out so much, but then again, he’s not the one that prepares a good hundred meals a month and cleans up after them. 🙂 It’s been roughly 15 months now since I’ve decided that it is necessary to cut stuff like this out of the budget. We still usually go out once a month or so, either via our entertainment budget or my sweet mom taking us out, and I have to say that I really don’t miss it much. In fact, eating out is more fun now because it’s a special treat.
Even though it may be difficult to give up some of the things you love, whether it’s eating out, shopping, cable TV, your salon visits, or whatever, remind yourself that it’s only temporary, and that you’ll enjoy that fun stuff a lot more when you’re not drowning in debt, because your money will truly belong to you, and not those credit card or loan companies. And honestly, it’s not like our friends really notice that we’re not doing as much stuff anymore. We just change the game up a bit and do BBQs here or go hiking at local parks. Changing our lifestyle truly hasn’t been that big of a deal, in our eyes or anyone else’s, and it feels great knowing we’re making bigger strides toward financial independence.
Financial Freedom is Simply Unattainable.
No, really, it’s not. YES, every situation is different. Yes, your situation might be more extreme than others. We can identify with that, and so can other bloggers like Grayson from Debt Roundup. Like us, he started his debt payoff journey with a ridiculously high debt-to-income ratio. Ours was 65%, but it’s dropping each and every month. Grayson’s was that high too, and he’s now debt free and on to the building wealth part of his journey. And just like there are different debt situations for everyone, there are different financial freedom solutions for everyone. There are debt management companies, consolidation loans and for the extreme case, maybe even bankruptcy. There are various methods for getting out of debt. And there is a plan for you and your debt.
Forgive me for being blunt, but a lot of what’s stopping people from pursuing financial freedom is simple selfishness, and I can identify with that. There are days when Rick and I have our tantrums about not being able to spend as we choose. I get that. I really do. But the fact of the matter is that you deserve better. Better than getting what you want, when you want it. And financial peace and freedom is better. It’s time to do something nice for yourself. Something really nice for yourself. It’s time to get out of debt. It’s time to relieve yourself and/or your spouse/family of the financial problems that rob you of sleep, of joy and that plague your heart every single day. Give yourself the gift of financial freedom by taking that first step out of debt today.