I thought I would get a little financial here and do real talk. Adult Talk. DEBT. Because money doesn’t grow on trees unfortunately. (or on plants)
While debt isn’t something most people are comfortable talking about, I think it is essential to talk about because you don’t have to be scared of it. Being scared means you are giving Your Debt Power. When in reality, we need to have power over it. The reason I feel I am ADULT ENOUGH to talk about debt, is because my Husband and I paid off 52,000 thousand dollars of debt in less than two years. How? is what often people ask and then I launch into all the ways we CUT BACK ON SPENDING.
So, since I have firsthand experience with cutting debt and living my life free, I thought this platform may encourage and help others out there to maybe shave off some debt and get financially free. So each week, I thought I would share tid bits of information. We will start small, and if you apply those, you too might be able to accomplish something so great as to GETTING DEBT FREE.
GIVE YOUR DEBT THE MIDDLE FINGER
- Why do I encourage this? Because we need to take the power back over our spending. I don’t know about you, but I constantly felt like I had to keep up with my friends’ spending, to buy the latest and greatest clothes and accessories, electronics, and home decor. You name it, I probably wanted to buy it. The world spins so dang fast that I always felt the pressure to buy buy buy. I remember my husband and I sitting down to make a game plan for how we could pay off debt quickly. We were tired of owing money to the bank, paying interest on our loans and just wanted to get rid of it. I remember telling him that I absolutely love spending, but I love him more…that no materialistic item could replace my happiness with him, and therefore I wasn’t going to let my spending burden our marriage with more debt. I encourage you to put your spending into perspective for YOU. Think to yourself the next time you buy something, “is this going to make me happy? Can I live without this item or is it essential to my livelihood?” You guys, being honest with yourself is the hardest thing. I sometimes cried because I put clothes back on the rack. No joke, real ass tears. It is HARD. But, I wanted to live debt free. I can promise you it is worth it. Now I can buy more clothes because I am not a slave to my credit card interest rate.
DOWNLOAD MINT- THE APP AND SEE WHERE YOU ARE SPENDING YOUR MONEY
- If you haven’t heard of MINT, then I got you covered! Download this ASAP. I really enjoyed living in denial, not really caring where my money went, nor did I want to own up to the fact that I spent at least $30 on coffee each week, maybe even more. I loved living in ashleyland because I felt comfortable there. But, low and behold, MINT came into my life. Basically, you get to download this amazing app, link it to your cards, and ta da, it tracks every single purchase and categories it for you! Scary thought I know, but it makes you see in real time everything going on with your financials. Just last night, I was checking out my spending because I was majorly dropping the ball when it comes to spending (when you got a godson and his perfect big sis, i can’t help but by them outfits). Yes, I am human too and spend more than I aim for sometimes. Anyway, we were looking at our spending and refocused where we want our money to go and how we can save a little more each month. My solution: I’m going to start shopping at grocery stores where they have some good sales, stop with the coffees everyday (which will help my waistline and the budget) and instead replace it with cold brew purchased at the store and allowing myself one latte a week. Yep thats it.. just two small changes. I’m not out here to move mountains, I am here to walk my baby steps.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND SET REALISTIC GOALS
- Just like with a diet, you can’t lose all your weight in one day. It is a marathon and a lifestyle change. I’m all about going big, but when it comes to money, take it slow. Don’t set yourself up to fail. If you are honest with your budget and monthly income, it will be easy to set a goal that is achievable and reachable. I can’t wait to talk about this more in depth in the coming weeks!
THINK- NEEDS VS. WANTS. DON’T BE A SLAVE TO YOUR SPENDING TEMPTATIONS
- I remember when I was working in retail right after I got married. I spent most of my money at the store I worked with… Anthropologie! I don’t blame myself because honestly, I still wear clothes I bought from there. But, money was very tight. I had just started my wedding and event planning company, business was slow, and my husband was working his butt off for a marketing agency. I remember his friend came into town to stay with us for the weekend. They came to visit me at work, and I begged chase to buy me to new items from the store in front of his best friend. I remember him looking at me with big eyes because we both knew this wasn’t a NEED. But, I knew if I kept pressing, he would buy it for me and not look “cheap” in front of his friend. He looked like the prince of a husband every man wants to be, but we both knew this was dumb to do. I still feel bad looking back because these are the situations that put you in debt. I will say I held onto the two items for a week, then returned them because I remembered the promise I made to him. “No materialistic item was worth adding stress to our marriage”. At the time, I truly thought I needed those items. But, like most things, it was just a want. It is okay to be sad or disappointed if you don’t get to purchase everything you want. It. Is. O.K.A.Y. Remember that marketers have studied you and your spending! They knew exactly how and where to place an item and to make you believe you can’t live without it! Don’t be me and fall into that trap!
PRINT YOUR BUDGET OUT AND PUT IT UP SO YOU ARE REMINDED DAILY WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE
- I’m a visual person… that is probably why I am a wedding planner and designer. I need to be reminded everyday what my goal are. Why? Because I want to achieve them quickly so I can move on to the next goal. Chase and I both had a copy of our budget, and we also were able to put our goal into our Mint App. That way, when I was at the grocery store, I knew what our budget for groceries was and could carefully select items that would stay within our budget. I did that in many more areas as well because the more you think about it, the more success you will have.
All in all, just know you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I hope you liked this and I promise next week will be actual tactics to help you save money! Now that you have the mindset, we are ready to rock ‘n’ roll and give debt the middle finger!