The road to financial freedom is as challenging and painful as it is rewarding and life transforming. Wimps need not apply. If you are not willing to give up your old lifestyle, you will lose. You cannot expect to keep doing the same things and get out of debt. It doesn’t work that way. Sacrifice is not a four letter word. Don’t be afraid to deny yourself.
When my husband and I started our hardcore commitment to getting out of debt we cut out a lot of non-necessities. We ditched our basic cable and internet, we cut my husband’s data package on his phone (I never had one), we car pooled to work, we denied ourselves fun money ($100 each per month) and we said “no” a lot more to eating out, travel and entertainment. So we eat more ramen noodles. We see our friends and family less. We are dependent on the library for movies and books.
In exchange for the sacrifices we make, we know we’re going to be out of debt by the time we turn 35, mortgage included. I will be able to stay home with our future children. We will be able to make our travel dreams come true. We’ll be able to be generous. We’ll know our kids will have an adequate college fund and we’ll have fully funded retirement accounts. With 5 years of sacrifice we’ll be set for the rest of our lives. Seems like a small price to pay.
But many cannot stand the thought of not having everything they want when they want it. So they go into debt to have it and make poor decision to continue their behavior. I know how this goes because I used to be there. Start small. Give up one luxury. Learn to live with less. Each step you take away from this old life brings you closer to the new life you are shaping, debt free.