I have been playing praise music on blast the last several weeks. From the time I wake up until I go to bed I’ve had contemporary Christmas music playing. I need it to keep my spirits up, to keep a positive attitude and to feel hope that this too shall pass. And then I heard a song saying “I never knew…until Grace found me.”
And it reminded me of this journey to become debt free. I’ve been contemplating all the reasons why I am not out of debt already. I mean, seriously, I’ve been writing here almost 6 years now. And this is the first year that I feel like I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Why people don’t get out of debt
I even “Googled” (is that a verb now?) why people don’t get out of debt and there were all sorts of reasons given:
- Keeping up with the “Jones”
- Required lifestyle changes
- Emergencies happen that drain resources
- And so many more.
But you know what I think is the biggest reason people aren’t motivated or stay motivated to get out of debt is?
They have no idea what freedom from debt feels like!
The cycle of debt often starts before we are “grown” – credit card offers in college, buying a car with your first steady income and so on. By the time, we start real jobs, we are already stuck in debt cycle, paycheck to paycheck and we can’t see any way out or even know what that feels like. And we are not motivated to make the changes and sacrifices to do it because we have never felt that freedom.
Debt becomes a comfortable habit. And bad habits are terribly hard to break, ie junk food.
How do we share that feeling
How do you share that feeling with someone so that instead of having this list of rules and sacrifices to follow to get out debt, they can know this sense of freedom they are striving for. Does this make sense?
Instead of freedom from, it’s freedom to…
|Freedom from...||Freedom To...|
|Stress of living paycheck to paycheck||Decide exactly how and where and when to spend your money|
|Counting pennies to meet your needs||Allocate money to cover your needs and wants|
|Comparing yourself to others in what you can provide for your family, what you drive or how you appear||Own the lifestyle choices you make: where you live, what you drive, what your money priorities are|
|Worry about the what ifs, the unexpected and the emergencies that can pop up at any time||Know that you can access the resources in case of emergency if not from your own resources than from credit sources because you are not maxed out|
Does this make sense? I just know that as more and more of my paycheck becomes “free” of required spending, the more confident and comfortable I become. I am more generous, I am more relaxed and I make better decisions. My kids know that I am budgeted and making decisions with the future in mind. They hear me say “that’s now how I want to spend my money” versus “I don’t have it” or “I can’t.” It is such a different feeling, very empowering and more than that more freeing than anything I have ever experienced.