I distinctly remember one day when I worked in radio. It was the new year and we had a financial advisor on the morning show to talk about budgeting. One thing he said has always stuck with me:
“Unfortunately, giving up your $5 a day latte isn’t going to get you out of your financial mess.”
He said yes, our expensive coffee habit probably isn’t helping things, but that the real problem was the new car we drove to the coffee shop and the just out of our budget home we slept in at night. And unfortunately, just cutting out lattes isn’t enough to get us out of the hole that we as Americans generally find ourselves in.
Sigh. But it would be easier to give up Starbucks than talk my husband out of his new truck.
And we were doing fine. Sure, there were many times where I avoided logging into our bank account because I just didn’t want to know, and often had to text my husband “only $15 until you get paid on Thursday, don’t buy anything.”
But mostly we were fine.
And getting out of debt was DAUNTING.
When my husband and I first added up our debt it was $128,000 NOT including our mortgage. Like most, it was made up of student loans, hospital bills, car loans, credit cards and a small business loan. But it might as well have been a million dollars because it felt like we would NEVER be able to pay it back.
And quite honestly, it was tempting to not even try. To just keep living as we had been and worry about it another day, hoping for a big raise or large inheritance to bail us out.
But fortunately, I received a review copy of the Dave Ramsey program at the radio station and began to read it so that I could talk about it on the air.
THIS WOULD CHANGE OUR LIVES.
It was practical. It was funny. It was relatable. And it was encouraging. So we decided to do it.
We now had a plan to get out of debt, and with a plan you can do anything.
So we got going and have made great progress. We hit some bumps along the way (like me losing my full time job), but are now down to just student loan debt, and that feels awesome.
Simplifying our home has also considerably helped our budget. We sold a TON of stuff which helped a little, but mostly we just don’t buy things like we used to.
When our house is clean, and things feel under control, we don’t impulse buy. I don’t buy new clothes all of the time because I have things in my closet that I love, and they’re clean and hung up. We don’t eat out hardly at all because the kitchen is clean and I enjoy cooking in it. And we don’t buy toys for the kids because we’ve learned what they actually play with and that other things will only keep them occupied for a short time and then be tossed to the side.
So if you have reached the point where it is time for change, my encouragement to you would be: get a plan. Whether it is the Dave Ramsey program, Crown Finacial or any of the other programs out there, you need a plan.
Then work the plan and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you begin to make progress. Then you can kick your feet up and truly enjoy that latte ;)
You can read a more in depth version of our story here: How we paid of $60,000 of debt in one year.
Ok, now seriously, go get started! I’d love to hear your story in a few months!! :)
And if you are on Pinterest, here is a picture for that, THANK YOU for sharing!!!