Debt becomes a pain for many of us when we can’t handle it anymore. Here the term ‘it’ means a lifestyle where we are living paycheck to paycheck, have no money for emergency expenses and struggling to pay off our debts.
Usually, we start looking for ways to make money and manage debts when the following things happen:
Even if you decide to get out of debt, the battle of mind and lifestyle can sabotage all your efforts to attain financial freedom. Ultimately, it comes down to one point - who would win the game? Mind or lifestyle demands?
It often happens that our mind thinks about something and our lifestyle demands make us do completely opposite things. Let me explain you in 2 scenarios:
You live in a beautiful home with your family. You have a steady job, 3 kids and a wife to take care of. Everything seems to be perfect from outside but that is not the reality. You have a huge home loan on your shoulder. You have a student loan to take care of. Plus, there are other financial obligations which include credit card bills and other utility bills.
Although you have a regular source of income, you’re in debt. Your lifestyle demands huge expenses every month on home maintenance, your kids’ school fees, utility bills, transport, food, shopping, and so on. You can’t avoid those expenses. You can’t compromise on your child’s education. Your children are accustomed to certain types of foods. You love to travel in comfort. So what can you possibly do? Even if you think every day about cutting expenses, you can’t. As a result, you can’t save money and pay off your debts quickly.
It sounds ridiculous, but the truth is people learn to adapt to the lifestyle they lead - whether that be in poor health condition, debt or a toxic relationship. They get habituated to that situation and it becomes the ‘norm’ in life, even though that is bad for them.
Peter is a frugal person. He understands the value of money and makes sincere efforts to save it. Unfortunately, his wife doesn’t believe in the same philosophy. She loves leading a lavish life and exhausts all his savings every month. Peter thinks of saving money every month but her wife’s lifestyle demands don’t let him do so. Instead of saving money, Peter has to borrow money for purchasing things.
It has to begin with self-worth. You need to realize your own value. You need stop thinking about others and start taking steps for your own benefit. Self-sacrificing behavior won’t do you any good. If you want to get out of debt, you have to be strong-willed and determined. You need to take every possible step for changing your lifestyle. Your kids might not be happy. Your family might be upset but it’s for your own benefit. Remember, creditors would not allow you to live in peace until you pay off your debts.
Sometimes, even well-intentioned self-sacrifice is not a good example to kids. As such, in 2018, your goal should be to show the kids the value of good self-care. When your kids see that you’re a responsible and valuable human being, they will respect you. As an add-on, you’ll make better money decisions in the next year.