- Denial: I have no idea how many times I said to myself “Everyone in America experiences debt.” Or “I’m not that bad off, everyone has debt.” And “Debt? Isn’t that just part of the American Dream now?” I don’t know about you, but struggling to make ends meet, endless financial strain, and continuous fights with my significant other was NOT what MY personal American Dream was. I stepped back and realized that just because everyone else was going through this, didn’t mean that I had to trudge through the same B.S. News flash: Don’t care what others are doing; focus on YOUR goals and what YOUR dreams look like. You’ll be a whole lot better off when you aren’t fooling yourself with the ‘American debt loophole’ or keeping up with the Jones’.
- You Still Think You Deserve It: You aren’t entitled to A N Y T H I N G in this world. When I expect something, my gratitude isn’t high. When the unexpected happens, I experience an insane amount of gratitude. It’s the same thing with money. Your credit card isn’t your money. Repeat after me: Your credit card is NOT YOUR MONEY. You aren’t entitled to that money. You don’t deserve that money. You didn’t earn that money. You don’t deserve it until you have saved for it and can pay for it with cash
- You Still Have No Future Plan: At the end of the month I sat around dumbfounded wondering where the hell all my money went. Your money doesn’t know where to go until you tell it where to go. Now I have the Mint App, so I can track my money and I make a loose outline in excel of all our monthly expenses and income. This way, I know how much I can expect to save, spend, and pay off each month. I also visit my short term and long term financial plans and/or goals every day. I cannot stress enough how budgeting helps any financial situation. This eliminates those ‘wtf’ moments.
- You’re Still Paying For Cable: Please please please, cut the cord. Cable is grossly expensive and unnecessary. I guarantee you that you can share a Netflix account, hook up to someone’s HBO GO or spend a few dollars a month on Hulu or Amazon. There is no need to pay an arm and a leg for entertainment with so many cheap options out there.
- You Still Have Credit Cards: You don’t need them. I know this is a scary thing for you to read. “What about emergencies!? What will I do!?” Start saving an emergency fund right now. Having a credit card is like having an active bomb in your home. One day, it will go off. At the start of this year, James and I had almost $10,000 in credit card debt alone. I will be working off his credit card for another two months! Like I said in #2, you don’t deserve that money because it’s not your money. You can save actual (*gasp*) cash for emergencies. Cutting my credit cards, was the start of my personal revolution. I was saying enough was enough. I wasn’t going to live this life full of uncertainty. Its cliché, but this was my moment of clarity. You don’t need credit to survive. There are ways around it, and nothing speaks louder than cash in your pocket.