Paying off my debts was not the easiest think to do. I must admit that for a while debt and saving was not a priority. If it wasn’t for my home ownership dream, I probably would have never paid it all off. But when it was time for me to move on to the next level my debt got in the way of my dreams.
I was not born a saver, spending wasn’t in my DNA. As a Jamaican woman, I’m all about Fashion (what looks good). Fashion over style! (a common Jamaican saying). Being able to buy all that I wanted was my only need in life. I would work to buy shoes, purses and clothes; more clothes than any one person really needed. I remember growing up always dreaming of a walking closet. If my hair looked good, outfit and nails were on point; then all the debt could be hidden.
The problem was that everything looked perfect on the outside but on the inside, I was not complete. When it came down to wanting more for my child and me, I did not have the right foundation to build our future. I couldn’t build it on the clothes that I had bought and was now out of style. Nor the hairstyles and nails that where now flopped and chipped. Now that I wanted more, what was I to do?
First step was to pay off my debts and begin to save. I couldn’t go around it or under it, I would have to put my big girl panties on and make changes in my life. My goal is to pay off my line of credit in 1 year and that will be challenging.
This debt repayment/savings challenge is for those who would like to make a change in their financial futures and want to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. This is away to keep us accountable for our action and build our financial future with without consumer debt looming over our head.
Find a way to keep track of all your debt with a budget. I use a simple excel spreadsheet but you can use pen and paper to keep track of your spending. Whatever is comfortable for you. I input in all my expenses and incomes then let the file do the rest. (If you would like me to create a spreadsheet for you let me know). I also add colors to make it less boring.
When you pay off an amount on your credit card, line of credit or a bill, reward yourself with something inexpensive. I like to reward myself by talking off a ring (see YouTube Video Ring Challenge). But you can reward yourself with whatever you’d like.
Quite time reading
A new nail polishes
Watching a movie
Whatever floats you boat do it; if it doesn’t hinder your progress.
When you come into an unforeseen financial boost; save half. I know sometimes it’s hard not to spend it all, especially when you’ve been depriving yourself, but save half. Put half in a savings account that is accessible but not attached to your bank account. This means that you should not be able to make a purchase using this account with your bank card. Those new shoes are not an emergency. Bad things will always happen in life since you pay for the good days with the bad ones. Therefore, when you save that money and the unforeseen comes around, you’re not left destitute.
Be mindful of others
This was one of the biggest mistakes I made when I was changing my life, I told everyone. It’s not in every person nature to be supportive of another individual’s progress. I had crooked comments coming from left and right; from friends, co-worker and family. Not everyone is going to understand your aspirations; therefore, keep somethings to yourself and only share them with the people that are batting for you. I always give people a portion of my dream and then see their reaction. If I don’t like their reaction then I keep the rest to myself.
This will not be easy
Thank God that this won’t be easy, since if it was easy then everyone would do it. Know that you’re going against the grain and it’s okay. There are many more people in this world who are in debt and have no savings. You don’t have to be one of them. You can still have a complete life even without consumer debt.
In conclusion, if you would like to build a better financial future for yourself or your family please join this 1 year debt free challenge and let me know how it’s going for you. If you need anything like support or advice contact me on anyone of my social medias or email me. We can do this together.
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