Going after your debt free diet? Make it Personal!
I have been on many diets, and as anyone knows who goes on diets, it is easy to cheat on a diet or worse yet, fall back and gain weight. The reality is like any diet or exercise of self control, don’t beat yourself up over slipping up, you can deal with the set-back. Like any action taken in your life, positive thoughts, positive constructive momentum, and achievement moves you forward.
As mentioned above, turn the negatives into solutions in your life, you will get tired of living on a budget and cheat, but minimizing the overall damage will save your financial well being. However, you need to treat each positive step forward with more enthusiasm, and document your momentum. Consciously getting out of debt and creating your success is about keeping a journal, documenting your concerns, documenting your actions and expenses, and breaking new ground. I have used this methodology for building a business, to see where you are from where you came, then you will see that you have already won.
Dealing with setbacks
.celebrate each get out of debt success
.find things to laugh about
.do something fun
.count your blessings
.accept what can’t change
.find peace through prayer or meditation
Signs of Depression
-feeling sad all the time
-feeling worthless and hopeless
-loss of interest in activities you used to join
-a change in your sleep patterns
-difficulty concentrating and making choices
-a lot of headaches or stomach aches
– loss of interest in eating or a need to overeat
-using alcohol or illegal substances
-constantly thinking about death and suicide
-taking health risks with sexual partners, cheating on ones significant other
If you are feeling depressed, like debt, the first step to getting out of it is changing your state of mind.
Hold Family Meetings, Pull Your Family Together
When faced with a pending bankruptcy in my family due to a poor business choice in the 1980’s in our family business, my father held a family meeting. We all went into the living room, and we sat down. He explained the financial situation of the family, I was roughly 13 years old, my brother was 15. I had always been a banker in the family, and had managed to save money from cutting lawns and shovelling snow. My father explained that we had to sell our cars, liquidate what assets we had, and we might have to move from where we lived. He explained we needed to tighten our belts, and he was very much destroyed, but in having the meeting, as a family we realized we hit the bottom. The meetings importance to us actually made us stronger. Luckily I had saved enough funds to cover rent and groceries for 2 months in my personal savings account, and my brother and I had packed lunches for school. We realized that there were certain sports we couldn’t play, certain things we couldn’t afford. Our family however adapted, there were more board games, more family time, more of what actually counts in life. It was a lifelong experience in the importance of hitting bottom and bringing the family together, and that you don’t have to hit bottom to do it. You may not have hit bottom, but you need to explain to your family where things are at, and how you plan on getting out. For my father, within 6 months, he was motivated and making money again, enough to pay down over the next 8 years all $500,000 that was owed. A discipline I admire now, and I hardly understood then
It’s true that you likely carry the weight of the family, but if you have a family, then it’s a good idea to pull together. Everyone spends the money together, everyone should be together on what is going on. A meeting however is not a blame game, so don’t get caught in the blame trap. It is simple, show them the income that is being made, show them the expenses you have personally, and you have as a family. Ask for their help to find a way to minimize the cost of living, and create some agreed measures to minimize spending.
Working together as a family is important. Your spouse is likely an important part of expenses, as they spend your personal income and vice versa directly or indirectly by choices either one of you make. Holding off on vacations that where planned, hold off on purchasing any large items with money you don’t have, or credit. Cutting off the use of credit is key, you need to find a way to spend only what you do have. Build a plan together, and try to move the plan to succeed together.
Many times its possible for these discussions to become blaming oriented, be an active listener.
– Your communications are essential, consider having a third party such as a financial advisor, accountant, or respected friend to sit down with you both and discuss your financials
– Consider getting debt counselling together
– Consider getting a personal coach for each of you that tries to help the communication
– Consider community programs on money management skills that you can take together, group sessions even for a night can help couples communicate and focus
Unfortunately, you are responsible for all debts accumulated during a marriage. If you are not able to communicate, and your spouse is driving you further into debt, you need to decide whether you are going to take the pilgrims progress route for Life, versus staying back in the swamp of despond, the place of confusion and debt, the place where one sinks for their Sins. Don’t allow for yourself to believe you have sinned, or allow yourself to sink in debts and poverty created by those around you. Change your mind, change your life, and take this mission seriously. Not everyone is comfortable with change, especially if it involves them involuntarily. This is the stage many people look at divorce, I am not a fan of divorce, but I understand for many it’s necessary. I have seen relationships where one person who is depressed effects the whole families ability to operate. One persons spending habits can burden a family as well, and the combination of these can lead to a life of financial woes and divorce. This is where many couples seek counselling by marriage counsellors, religious figures, or books and courses. If you can find a way to do something together that can take your mind off of the discomfort of the debt I highly recommend it. Do yoga together, meditate together, read books together on happiness, spiritual growth, success, health, walk together, run together, find your place of peace. Words mean something, keep negative talk out of conversations, read on how to not talk negative to each other and be active listeners.
ARE YOU READY TO START THE PATH TO CONSCIOUSLY GETTING OUT OF DEBT?