Getting out of debt wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but finally making that decision to become debt-free was one of the best ones I’ve ever made. Almost two years ago, my family and I started down that path of debt bustin’. It was going to take some dedication because we had racked up almost $15,000 worth of credit card debt and consumer loans. Even though I said it wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, it was still pretty far from the easiest.
Getting Honest With Myself
Getting honest about my spending habits was one of the first things I had to do in order to stop this cycle of overspending every month. It has been years since I had bought new shoes. (yeah, years) I hadn’t gotten a haircut or a manicure in months. Look at me, such a non-spender. I couldn’t possibly have a spending problem. That was the lie I kept telling myself, because if I didn’t have a spending problem how had we gotten ourselves into $15,000 of debt?
But the truth was I had fooled myself into thinking that I had denied myself all these “simple pleasures” so I deserved that $700 stereo or that $100 video game. Both of which I could not really afford. Highlighted by the fact that they were purchased with a credit card. In total honesty, I don’t care for buying a whole new wardrobe or having a spa day, but I liked feeling like a martyr when it came to purchasing the little things so I could splurge on the big things. Once I came to the cold, hard realization that I was justifying my spending with a ridiculous premise, I could get to the core of my bad spending habits and stop making excuses.
Once I had myself in gear to tackle our debt, I thought it was time to enlist the family on the game plan. Of course the idea of having a debt free life is intriguing, but once you start putting it to practice you may experience a slight uprising.
One day I had mentioned to my husband and children about getting rid of our cable to lower our monthly bills. Not the most loved idea. There were tears and crying and screaming. The kids didn’t like the idea either. Okay, I may be exaggerating a wee bit, but we didn’t get rid of our cable that day.
A few weeks later, as we were at full throttle in getting rid of our debt, my husband came home and mentioned that we should get rid of our cable. I didn’t hesitate for a second, in fear he might change his mind, and we were off to the cable company and the cable box was history.
I only mention this tidbit because it was a big deal for my husband to give up the cable, and it was a true turning point in our journey to get rid of the debt once and for all. He listened to all my wacky ideas about saving money and never made me feel like this endeavor was a bad idea. We were in it together 100% and I know that it wouldn’t or couldn’t have been accomplished without his support.
One year later, we had annihilated $14,736.05 of credit card and consumer loan debt. It took hard work and quite a bit of dedication, but I had to start with getting honest with myself and having the support of my family first. I think it is what made all the difference.
This is guest post written by Niki from Debt Free by Thirty. On her blog she chronicles her journey of getting out of debt, trying to save money and having fun in the process. Niki also writes about and takes pictures of food. A lot.