Real debt proof living begins with personal budget planning. This, in turn begins with a mindset that says, "no matter what, I am no longer going to live this way. It is free and lasts a lifetime.
Tawra Kellam of Living on a Dime gives legs to the debt proof living idea and is one of the best described ways to achieve freedom financial I have read. I have been a fan of hers for years. Enjoy.
Is There a Way Out of Debt?
I was at some people's home the other day and as often happens with Tawra and me, we started talking about debt. Our hostess and her husband were like many people. They got married, got some credit cards and started spending. They were up to their eyeballs in debt.
After years struggling and living with the stress of it, they decided to change and have now been debt free for a couple of years. When I spoke to the woman, she said something that I found interesting and it got me thinking. (Now we're in big trouble-- I'm thinking!) She said, "When you are in so much debt, you can really believe there is just no way out."
Based on the e-mails and comments we get from readers, I know what she says is true. There is a way out in most cases, but the sad thing is that people often just can't think rationally in that situation.
Have you ever seen a movie where a scatter-brained person falls into the water and starts flailing his arms and screaming "Help, I can't swim! Help, I'm drowning"? The people on the shore look at each other and shake their heads, yelling, "Put your feet down."
The person in the water is screaming "Help me, help me, I need help!" so loudly that he can't hear them. He is splashing so hard he is causing water to go up his nose and into his mouth, almost drowning himself.
Finally he hears them, but he still doesn't do what they say because he is too busy trying to figure out how to keep himself from drowning. All of a sudden, his feet go down and he realizes that he could have touched the bottom at any time.
Even standing, the water is up to his neck and a wave will hit him in the head once in a while but he can still walk to the shore one step at a time and save himself.
Starting Debt Proof Living
Many of you feel like you are drowning in debt and can see no way out. You may think there's not a way to save yourself. We sometimes have ourselves convinced the only way for us to be saved from our debt is for someone to come and rescue us (like the government, family and friends and even God).
If someone does try to save us we are so afraid and we often fight so hard that we are liable to pull that person down and cause him or her to go under, too. (This can happen when parents help kids, when one spouse pulls the other down or even when friends try to help).
You might say, "But this is money-- It isn't water and I can't just put my feet down and expect that all will be well. Maybe not, but you can do what we and other financial advisers have been yelling from the shore for years. It is almost as simple but you can't hear it above your screams for help.
What is it? Stop Spending. Really stop spending. Stop spending on everything. Just stop spending.
People constantly ask me, "How did you get out of debt?" What it all boils down to is I stopped spending. I bought only the bare necessities in food, shelter and clothes and sometimes I even did without those. My grandson has a T shirt that just makes me crack up. It shows these bears on their way to a camping trip. One has a TV strapped to his back, another a boom box, another a computer and so on. The caption says "The Bear Necessities". We all laugh at that, but the truth is that's the way most of us think and live.
A Debt Proof Living Example
Here's an example of the thinking that helped me get out of debt. I went to the grocery store the other day where they had coffee for fifty cents. I thought, "Boy would I love to buy a coffee and sit at one of those tables with a book and read," but I didn't do it. I bought the bargain loaf of bread that I came for and left.
Once, when I did a similar thing, I had a woman sarcastically say to me, "It's only fifty cents". That same woman was the one I mentioned at the beginning of this story, who was "swimming" in debt at the time. Each fifty cents makes a difference, each $50 makes a difference and, if you are buying a car or a house, don't tell yourself that $500 here and there doesn't make a difference. If you spend because you say, "Life is short. You need to enjoy it while you can," you cause your own stress and will always have financial trouble.
If this is your attitude about debt proof living, life is going to be very short for you and your family. Because of that extra $.50, $50 and $500, you are almost under water. Stop being afraid. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop screaming and flailing, put your feet down and save yourself. Stop listening to that little voice that says there is no way out and you can't save yourself. That voice is only you deceiving yourself. Don't choose to believe you are drowning when you really aren't.
Put your foot down and stop spending.
Living on a Dime
Debt Proof Living Action Time
Wow. Tawra is the first one I have heard say that fifty cents is a big deal. And you know what? It sure is. As I tell my children, a little bit, and a little bit, and a little bit --- add up to a lotta bit.
If you have been moved to action for yourself to be debt proof living, outstanding! Move on now to some debt relief solutions resources.