Sunday, May 23, 2010

How do you get out of debt?

You just d0. You have to get fired up about it. Not just kinda, sorta, on board with it. But passionate about what you want your future to look like. One of the most motivating things we did as a family was to sit down and figure out how much money would be OURS (and, obviously, therefore how many boxes of milkbones we could buy) if we didn't have to pay for anything other than the usuals (utilities, gas, groceries, etc.). Meaning, no payments. No house payment, no car payment, no school loan payment, no personal loan payment, no insert-whatever-kind-of-payment. Talk about freeing. My mom's least favorite speech she got from my Gramma when she was growing up was: "In the amount of time you've spent complaining about fill-in-the-blank, you could have had it done and moved on to something else. You're making this harder for yourself than it needs to be." How many of us do that? We spend tons of time complaining about how much stuff costs, how we want/need something new, how exorbitant our bills are, how we wish we could afford to go on vacation. When something is truly important to you, you'll make it a priority. If having money is a priority, you'll make it work. Probably one of the funniest things I've heard in a long while was when my people mentioned to friends that they use a budget, coupon, etc. The response from their friends was "well, that's nice that it works for you, but it's not for us". Really? Saving money isn't "for you"? Having money isn't "for you"? Hm. Good thing I don't share a checkbook with them! Yikes!

In any case, find something that will help keep you on the straight an narrow if you're truly motivated to get out of debt and stay out of debt. Maybe it's figuring out how much money you can free up by not having payments, maybe it's realizing you can finally take that big family vacation, maybe it's knowing your children's only limitations in life will be their own ability not your inability to pay....find what it is and keep that in sight. Then, well, put your money where your mouth is and be weird.

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