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Never knew what it was like to be free

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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 paycheckDecide exactly how and where and when to spend your money
Counting pennies to meet your needsAllocate 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 appearOwn 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 timeKnow 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.

Thoughts?

 

 

 

Hope’s Spending Plan – November, 2022

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I’m really behind on my planning and tracking so I’m certain this change this month. But here is what currently remains in my spending plan for the month of November.

Utilities – Gas, Water, Trash11/4/2021-100
Counseling11/10/2021-60
Princess – monthly allowance11/15/2021-150
Car Payment Savings11/15/2021-250
Christmas Money11/15/2021-500
Auto Insurance11/15/2021-1021
Counseling11/17/2021-60
Thanksgiving11/19/2021-500
Counseling11/20/2021-60
Storage11/21/2021-65
Kennel11/26/2021-380
Dad – Flights11/26/2021-1000
Counseling11/27/2021-60
Netflix11/30/2021-18
Adobe11/30/2021-20
Amazon11/30/2021-150
Mortgage11/30/2021-661

There are quite a few unique things about this months spending.

  • Counseling – It won’t be a long term commitment, but I knew we needed help to get through some personal challenges. The counselor does not take insurance, but works on a sliding scale.
  • My dad helped us with the Thanksgiving flights, but the twins’ girlfriends paid for their own tickets. And I’m planning to give dad some money towards them as well. This is my plan. Whether he accepts it or not is a whole other matter, but I will be prepared.
  • I can’t remember if I told you that I told you all that I’ve rented a storage unit. This will be a monthly charge for the next few months.
  • Thanksgiving trip money is just an estimate. I typically have little to no expenses when I’m at my parents.
  • Kenneling a dog is EXPENSIVE! I’ve thought of having one of the kids’ friends stay at our home and watch her but I’m just no comfortable with the idea.
  • My car insurance is high because…I didn’t pay it last month. Ugh!

I’m catching up. Slowly. Just been a mess emotionally so I’ve kind of slacked off in my planning and record keeping.