Ok, so I’m six months in and still hanging in there.
Ever since I read “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey I made a commitment to myself that I would take my personal finances seriously. I was able to save an emergency fund in no time and started putting all my extra cash towards my debt payments. I have learned so much while on this journey so I want to share a few things with you.
1. Personal Finance is PERSONAL- there is a LOT of information out there about what you should do with your money. It can quickly become over whelming! It is important to learn from different experts and create a plan that you are comfortable following.
2. Its uncomfortable – Talking about money is uncomfortable. PERIODT. Once you sit down and list all your incomes/expenses you have to make the hard choice of what needs to be cut out or reduced. I was willing to give up some of my subscriptions (netfilx/hulu) but I was not willing to cut out brunching on the weekends, instead I reduced it to an allowance of two brunches per month (I used to brunch every weekend so this was huge for me).
3. Everyone Can’t Come – Once you start learning about personal finance you are going to want to spread the knowledge to those around you and they may not be here for it. You start to pay attention to things you didn’t before. I once went out on a date with a guy who boasted about how he was able to get a great deal on his brand new Cadillac and all I could think of was how much his monthly payments were. Be mindful not to become condescending to those who are not on the journey yet.
4. OMG I have so much money! – Once I trimmed the fat in my budget by cutting unnecessary spending I saw how much extra money I had to send to debt, which only makes me think about how one day I could be using that money to invest/save.
5. There are bad days – The debt free journey is not all flowers and rainbows, there will be times when you are tested and there are times when you will fail. I slipped up and used my credit card at a restaurant last month! I was disappointed in myself but I made adjustments to my budget so that I would have money left over for myself.
I hope that you make the decision to start a debt free journey or at least just pay closer attention to where your money is going. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with so much information out there but stay focused on your goals and don’t be scared to readjust.