When we talked getting out of debt it can feel a bit overwhelming, right? Like it takes a lot of HUGE changes to get out of debt.
Yes, there will be some lifestyle changes that need to be made. Yes, you will have to change your thought process and relationship with money. But I truly, honestly believe that it is the small changes that have the biggest impact on our lives.
So let's talk some of those small changes.
1. Don't let your emotions dictate how you spend your money.
This is a huge one for so many people. You get up sad, you're going through a hard season of life. And it's so easy to shop to fill that void, to shop to fill that emptiness, to shop to give yourself, like, a little high and make yourself feel better. But in the end, when that credit card bill comes in, you're not going to feel very good for very long.
So you have to try really hard to make thoughtful purchases, to not rob from your future because you feel bad now. Stop the emotional spending.
Ask yourself, "Am I still going to feel this way a week from now? Am I still going to feel this way when I wake up tomorrow morning?"
2. Don't buy things just because they're on sale.
Buy things on sale if you need them and you've been planning to purchase them. By all means, get the best deal. But don't buy things just because they're on sale.
You guys might remember: last year, I decided I needed a new comforter. And I bought one because it was on sale and I immediately hated it, but I couldn't return it because I'd already slept on it.
Now I'm okay with it, I've gotten used to it. But I wished that I had made a smarter purchase, and hadn't decided on a whim to throw the comforter in my cart and go about my day.
Ask yourself: Do I really need this? Where am I going to put it? Do I have the money to spend? Have I budgeted for it? Am I going to have to take the money from somewhere else?
3. Don't spend money that you don't have yet.
Now this isn't the same as don't spend money you don't have, as in, don't put everything on your credit card, which I don't recommend either. But don't spend money that hasn't been given to you yet.
I see a lot of this around tax season when people are expecting a big tax return. And they mentally spend money, or they spend money on credit, thinking that they can pay it back with their tax return, and then their return does not turn out to be what they thought it would and then they end up in a bind. Don't be that person.
Have cash in hand. Have money in the bank before you decide to make these big purchases. Or set up savings goals, which is my next one.
Start learning to say no to yourself and start learning to say yes to your future.
It's delayed gratification. Everybody struggles with delayed gratification in one area of their life or another. Oftentimes, that is in money. We want what we want and we want it right now.
I get it because right now, I'm in a time of saving up for something big and I'm getting frustrated and I want it right now. I don't want to save anymore and keep working. I want it now. But you've got to work on setting savings goals for yourself.
I'm saving up for a new car. That's a huge thing to save up cash for and it's taking longer than I thought it would. But when I drive off the lot in a car that I paid cash for, it's going to feel so good. So work on saying no to the now so that you can say yes to the future.
What about you? What are some small changes you've had to make to become debt free?