A free t-shirt is all it took.
It was as if the smiling face on the other side of the table assured me that a credit card would be the first step toward freedom for an 18-year-old college student.
I signed on the dotted line, and after two weeks I received my very first piece of plastic. I had no experience, so it didn’t take long to rack up debt. And since I was only paying the minimum balances, it piled on even faster.
I decided it was time for a change.
I took out what little money I had saved in my mutual fund and paid off the debt.
“I’ll never do that again!”, I said to myself.
But I was wrong.
This would happen two more times over the next several years where I took IRA withdrawals and depleted my savings just to manage the debt.
I ended up entering marriage with a load of debt! My wife (who brought no debt and all the assets to the marriage), and I came up with a toilet-cleaning plan to knock out debt.
Through hard work and perseverance we did it.
Ever Feel Like You Are Your Own Worst Enemy?
I know I do. And, I often am. There are so many times I get in my own way and impede my progress spiritually, physically, and financially.
Maybe you can relate?
Let me illustrate my point. How many times has the following played out in your life?
I need to change my spending habits so I can save money.
I will stop going out to eat so much.
One week later:
“I’ve had a stressful day and don’t feel like making anything.”
“I deserve to go out to eat . . . just this once.”
Another week later:
“I forgot to pull something out of the freezer for dinner.”
“I’ll just order a pizza.”
And this continues, week after week, month after month, until we realize once again we haven’t changed anything. Substitute whatever goal you have in the above scenario, and you’ll know what I mean.
How to Overcome Your Own Worst Enemy
- Develop a written plan – Write down what exactly you want to change, and how you will do it.
- Share it with someone – Let someone know exactly what you are trying to do.
- Ask for accountability – This is the key. Find someone who will make sure you do what you say you will do.
- Review regularly - Check the progress regularly so that you can build momentum, or make tweaks.
- Celebrate little “wins” – Have fun! Set short-term goals that you can reach quickly and then celebrate to continue the momentum.
What are some helpful tips you’ve found in making changes with your money? Meet us in the comments to let us know!
Photo by creativecommoners