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More Than Just the Numbers Has Changed

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It’s always nice to see the numbers change. After all, our goal is to get our pesky credit card debt paid off. I think what I am finding the most interesting right now is how much we have changed. Don’t get me wrong, I love that our debt is going down. I really smile inside when I think about what we used to be like and what we are like now because I believe the change is for the better.

Stuff used to rule our life. A holiday coming up – well, gotta go buy some decorations. Fisher Price came out with a new Little People set today – well, that is a must have addition to our son’s toys that already fill his room. We didn’t have money in our checking account for it so on the credit cards it went.

We don’t put things like that on our card anymore. It’s not just because we are trying to reduce debt. It’s because we know that we don’t need all of that stuff for happiness. The book Debt is Slavery actually was a big eye-opener when it came to stuff (if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it – see if your library has a copy to borrow). I felt sad selling most of our stuff. It wasn’t because I was going to miss it – it was because we spent so much money on it.

An interesting change is one that I’ve tried writing about before, but couldn’t find the words. I still can’t quite seem to get it out. So I’ll give an example of what changed. We knew that reusable shopping bags were out there but never gave them a second thought. We’d get plastic bags and toss them in the trash (less a few we kept around the house for various uses – but we didn’t use many). It was really starting to bug the both of us so we paid the money to have some reusable bags.

It’s almost like since we were cutting the wasteful spending we were doing – we started cutting other waste from our lives as well. I wish I could convey this better – I’m not sure I fully understand it yet LOL.

Even though our goal was to pay off credit card debt, we have received so much more in return. We are a much happier family overall. That is a wonderful benefit πŸ™‚


14 Comments

  • Reply Mr Plasectomy |

    “It’s almost like since we were cutting the wasteful spending we were doing – we started cutting other waste from our lives as well. I wish I could convey this better – I’m not sure I fully understand it yet LOL.”

    Think of it as stretching your dollar further. You are no longer spending money on everything and finding new uses for the things you have instead of buying something for a specific purpose. For instance the reusable shopping bags, we have a couple and they are used for groceries, library books, overnight backs for the kids at grandmas, a general tote for anything really. They are much sturdier than the plastic bags ever were.

  • Reply DEBT FREE JOURNEY |

    Tricia,
    What has changed for you and your family is that God is blessing you…you are probably thinking, “I know he is blessing me, thank you,” but what I mean is that he is TRULY blessing you…beyond human comprehension. I have been daily reading Scripture for years. Once you start doing this, I can’t explain it, but things in your life will start to happen according to what God’s Word says and your prayers. IT IS SO TRUE, I wish I could convey this to everyone without sounding so crazy! Anyway, the following Scriptures pertain to your situation and why the blessings are flowing abundantly for you:

    ROMANS 13:8 “LET NO DEBT REMAIN OUTSTANDING, EXCEPT THE CONTINUING DEBT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, FOR HE WHOLOVES HIS FELLOWMAN HAS FULFILLED THE LAW…..(The only debt we should have is LOVE, not credit card debt. As you pay off your debt, you align your values with God’s and the blessings will start to show in your life) I can’t wait until I get to this point!

    DEUTERONOMY 28:1,5-6 “IF YOU FULLY OBEY THE LORD AND CAREFULLY FOLLOW HIS COMMANDS I GIVE YOU TODAY, THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL SET YOU HIGH ABOVE ALL THE NATIONS ON EARTH. ALL THESE BLESSINGS WILL COME UPON YOU AND ACCOMPANY YOU IF YOU OBEY THE LORD YOUR GOD….YOUR BASKET AND YOUR KNEADING TROUGH WILL BE BLESSED! YOU WILL BE BLESSED WHEN YOU COME IN AND BLESSED WHEN YOU GO OUT!” That is what you are feeling…a happiness, peace, contentment and excitement in God’s blessings!

    And why you ask? Because :

    HEBREWS 4:12 “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND ACTIVE. SHARPER THAN ANY DOUBLE EDGED SWORD, IT PENETRATES EVEN TO DIVIDING SOUL AND SPIRIT, JOINTS AND MARROW; IT JUDGES THE THOUGHTS AND ATTITUDES OF THE HEART.”

    Congratulations, Tricia! Keep pressing on. You are in inspiration to all of us!

    God Bless!

    DEBT FREE JOURNEY
    debtfreethroughchristwhostrengthensme.blogspot.com

  • Reply Katy |

    I think I get what you’re talking about. I think it sounds like your family is being more mindful, not just of your spending and your money, but of all things. It’s this idea of doing things deliberately and in the moment and really thinking about everything you do. I love it! Good job.

  • Reply Jane |

    I think what happened is that you had to leave behind the mindset of being focused on material things – what we want, what we will get next, etc. and when that left your mind and priorities there was room for other things. Things like appreciation of one another and the life you have together, enjoyment of small things and so forth. Not that you didn’t appreciate these things before, of course, but when a person is always thinking about what else there is out there to buy they are never fully satisfied with where they are and what they have right now, this minute. To my mind this is one of the very nicest side benefits of frugality.

  • Reply Qcash |

    Tricia

    Sounds like you have experienced a “zen” moment.

    The feeling you are trying to explain is often beyond words, but I am certain there is a weight lifted off your shoulders.

    You are realizing how content life can be without stuff πŸ™‚

    You are every marketers’ worst nightmare and here’s to making sure it stays that way.

    In the end, keep you mind on the goal. And be prepared to reward yourself when you are out of debt. The idea of being debt free is that you can spend that hard earned money on yourself with a life experience or vacation, not on more stuff, and sleep comfortably knowing you are not putting off paying the piper.

    I am looking forward to seeing that cc number reach 0 !!!!! And I will do a little happy dance for you.

    Qcash

  • Reply Susan |

    And,you’re eating better. You CAN spend more on food. In the long run higher quality food is better for you, and going organic is good too. What about the cigarettes?

  • Reply Kev |

    I totally understand it and can relate. I had to change, as a person, in order to get my financial house in order. I had to become more responsible, I had to become more forward-thinking, I had to become someone that could tell themselves “NO!”, I had to become someone that appreciates what they currently have, and I had to become someone that actually accomplishes the goals they set. The entire process has made me better than I was.

    Now that I have come so far in the financial arena, I’m noticing that my new and improved personal traits are starting to spill over into other areas of my life. The changes I had to make to pay off my credit cards are the same changes that are now pushing me to eat better and exercise. It’s kind of like I’m looking for the next big thing that needs fixed.

  • Reply Matt |

    Having stuff isn’t the issue its having too much stuff that you don’t need or really want. Over the past few years I’ve gotten less and less stuff. Sure I still flip through the best buy adds and look at all the fun gadgets they have but I know that I’m not going to use one if I buy it so I simply look. You have to define the line where your purchases are needs or valid wants and not purchases to simply spend money.

    Unfortunately because I don’t need or want much stuff its hard to buy me christmas presents… πŸ™‚

  • Reply Rachel |

    We started on this journey to freedom about 2 years ago and I wholeheartedly agree with your post! Maybe it has to do with “sloth”- I know when I’m using credit cards to charge everything I feel more asleep. When I actively do not use my cards I feel like my brain wakes up to everything, not just the financial side of my life.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Susan – I’m still smoking. Not as much since it is winter (I don’t smoke inside), but I’m still smoking. One of the times when I was sick not too long ago, I was going to go for it cold turkey. I was fed up with it. The day ended up being a horrible day and I didn’t last long at all. Me + stress = need cigarette. I’m still not sure how to change that equation successfully.

    Kev – yep, you captured what I wanted to say but couldn’t get out. That is exactly it.

    Matt – I’m hard to buy for too, so you are not alone. Although I always tell everyone that a nice warm pair of socks are wonderful as a gift πŸ™‚

  • Reply Karen |

    I agree. This is definitely a zen or “aha” post. The changes your family has made are quite profound. What started as a ‘get out of debt’ journey turned into a much more life encompassing journey. The rewards are and will be much more than financial. You will be blessed with peace of mind, less stress, contentment and are making the world a better place. AND you have inspired others to do so as well. GOOD JOB!

So, what do you think ?