Too often when I hear people talking about paying off their debts, I hear about sacrifice. Deprivation. Missing out. That’s not what paying off debt is about though. It’s about choices.
A few years ago I had a friend who would let the grass in her backyard go brown every summer. She was in a financial position where she could afford to water the lawn, but she told me that she chose to spend her money elsewhere. That conversation revolutionized the way I thought about money.
Today I am making the choice to forgo buying the latest gadgets, so I can put my extra money toward my debts. I’m choosing to invest in a debt-free lifestyle for my future. It’s not about deprivation. It’s about choices.
When I think about money that way, living frugally and pinching my pennies doesn’t seem so hard. I’m not in a position where I can’t afford things. Have you ever said that? Someone asks you if you want to go to a ballgame or a concert, and you say, “I’d love to, but I can’t afford it.” I’ve done that before, and it makes me feel self-conscious.
What I should say instead is, “I’d love to, but it isn’t in my budget this month.” or “I’d love to, but I have other financial priorities right now.” It’s the difference between a “poor me” attitude and an empowering one.
So the next time you’re tempted to feel deprived in your journey to get out of debt, remember why you want to get out of debt. Remember that your lifestyle is your choice, and you are living out your priorities. And be proud of it.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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