Y’all, I am not perfect. And I certainly don’t have all the answers with this money thing! I know there are so many ways people pay off debt & it should be “easy.” But, its HARD! It’s a lifestyle change, and Max and I were finally READY! I have to admit – I am so tired of the phrase, “TREAT YO SELF.” Sorry, but we have been treating ourselves every day – treating ourselves right into debt!! I became so selfish, and if I wanted it, I was going to get it – no matter the cost. I bought into that lie and thought I “deserved” things. HMM – NO, I don’t deserve anything. I needed to work for it! I sound like a brat just saying all of this. That isn’t very wise thinking, and it certainly wasn’t helping my marriage! Also, as someone who loves fashion in general and does fashion blogging, I felt the constant need (and still do at times) to keep up with the latest trends and styles. So, I didn’t ever really want to buckle down and pay off debt, because I felt I “needed” these things. NO, I DON’T! LOL. I don’t NEED any of that! It is all a luxury and I was simply trying to keep up appearances. Last year, the Lord provided both Max and me with great jobs after looking for many months, and we are so grateful! Obviously, we needed jobs to make income and income to pay off debt. So, that was a start 😊! As for paying off debt, I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to do this, but it takes consistently and discipline – which I didn’t have. It wasn’t until a sweet friend gently encouraged and reminded me that I was not being obedient to the Lord and I was being selfish. AMEN TO THAT. So, hopefully you find some of this helpful for you! We are still figuring this whole “adulting” thing out (LOL), but I am glad we are learning these tools now as opposed to later. So, here are 7 ways we are paying off our credit card!
1. Not using The Credit Card – GUILTY. We really try not to use our credit card at all unless we absolutely have to. It’s really just a good idea to put it away completely or get rid of it. Instead of spending on that, focus on the money that you actually have!
2. Paying With Cash – We started implementing the cash envelope system (by Dave Ramsey). Yes, this may seem like a pain, but you get used to it! This is how it works – getting cash out of the bank each week, looking at the month all together, and then communicating on what we need to set money aside for and how much should go in each envelope. So, when we need cash, we grab it out of that specific envelope and write down what it was for. If there is any leftover, we typically save it for the next month or take the cash and put it towards paying off debt. This has seriously been a game changer. And, research shows you are less likely to spend as much cash as you would with a card! We still use our debit card for auto-draft bills, but we try to keep everything else to cash!
3. Wait/No Impulse Buying – I tend buy things on impulse, but this has challenged me to wait. Can this purchase wait? Do I want or need it? Most of the time, it’s just a want, so of course it can wait. Maybe in 6 months, if I still want this item that bad, then it can be discussed.
4. Being SPECIFIC With Our Budget – We had a budget, but we were not following that. It wasn’t until we got extremely specific with our budget and discussed it regularly that we saw a change. We didn’t always know where our money was going or how MUCH was being spent on certain things. We just let that get away from us unfortunately! Live and learn!
5. Selling/Purging items! I have a lot of stuff and I have found that it's stuff I really don’t use or need. So, I periodically sell items that are in good condition (there are multiple places on social media to sell or on Craigslist too). This is always a good idea – year-round! I need to get better at this – it has already helped me stay more organized and now I actually WANT to clean out more often! It easily slips off my radar when I get busy!
6. Priorities – This goes along with having a specific budget. But certain things are important to different people. Our priorities will not look the same. And, that’s OK! But, if you have the same goal of paying off debt, you will find that your priorities will change! The way I look at clothing is different, I can tell. I have to REALLY want something to even talk about it. I mean, sure, I still want certain things, but not nearly as much.
7. Unsubscribing From E-mail Lists – This one is for me! There are a lot of places to shop online, which is where I do most of my shopping, so I had to start unsubscribing myself to these places. I was constantly opening e-mails with sales, promotions and “deals” going on. NOPE. I can always re-subscribe, but for now, that is the kind of thing that tempts me regularly to make impulse purchases and to dwell on what I don’t have.
Like I said, it is all still a work in progress! Everyone’s circumstances are different – so I am not here to judge, trust me! I just needed a wake-up call, and maybe you do too! I hope you find some of this helpful, because I know there is so much more freedom when we are debt free!
Have a great week!