Did I hit the wall on my debt free Journey?
Nobody said change is easy. Especially when it comes to paying off debt, creating a budget, and cutting back on credit card spending.
When I began this financial journey, I started making tons of progress. I got rid of my storage locker, reviewed the dumbest stuff I bought in 2016, cut back on wasteful spending like my health club, insurance, XM Satellite, and so much more. I went so far that I cut pizza delivery out of my budget. It was great. And I cut down on my debt substantially. I had tons of momentum. I even started this financial blog to keep me motivated. Which was a great decision too. And thank you all for your support.
So, what happened?
I hit the wall last week. I’m not sure exactly why. But, when I bought my new glasses (and got ripped off), I lost some serious momentum. Let me explain.
Adulting: noun. The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.
I am starting to budget and plan ahead, which is great. But, in all honesty, I was in the habit of doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted with my money. Change I still hard. It requires patience and discipline to become financially free, debt free, and retire early. It’s a process.
Children do what feels good. Adults devise a plan and stick to it.” –Dave Ramsey
And that applied to money as well. So, the same day that I finally decided to get glasses, I realized that U2 was coming to town that same weekend. And I wanted to go.
One problem: the cheapest tickets were $250. The bad seats were $250. Ugh. As we learned with Adele, I am not opposed to paying money for a great concert. However, this seemed like a total ripoff. When did concerts get SO EXPENSIVE? When did everything get so expensive? My glasses cost between $500- $1,000. Why is everything so expensive when I’m trying to cut back and save money? I was not going to put it on my credit cards and ignore it. No way.
Taxes: This year I decided that I was getting off the tax merry go round. I decided that as an adult, I was going to pay my quarterly business taxes on time. And not wait until April 15th and get hit with a huge tax bill again. No more. Well, guess when my next quarterly payment is due? It’s on my calendar. Its next month. June 15th. So, I know that I have to pay for glasses, taxes, my bills, savings, and investments. As well as Double car payments to have my car paid off in the next few months. Bottom Line: The U2 concert didn’t fit in my budget. Retiring early is more important than a concert.
I’ve been low level annoyed all week. And I think it sent me into the wall. This adulting stuff isn’t easy. There are choices. Everyday. And when you budget, you realize that all expenses count. No more putting things on a credit card and letting the debt pile up. Even taxes and healthcare, which I never included because I got no benefit from either one. Concerts are worth spending money on because they’re fun and you have memories and post it on Facebook.
Does anyone post on Facebook that they paid their taxes? Let me know if you see a paid my taxes selfie. And, there is no upside to paying taxes. The reason we pay taxes is to avoid going to jail if you don’t pay them. And for the next 364 days I get to read how the government is wasting my money with $50 Hammers and $200 Toilets. Welcome to adulting.
The upside: Of course, I will survive missing the U2 concert. And when I pay off my car in a few months, I will be psyched. And I am making a lot of progress towards early retirement. Staying motivated on the debt free journey is critical.
The List: I keep a list of all the ways I’ve saved money next to my check book and there are about 24 things on it: cutting back on healthcare, insurance, health club membership, storage locker, magazines, XM satellite. and many others. Reminding yourself of all the positive things you’re doing to pay down debt and retire early is essential. Because keeping focused on the long term is hard sometimes.
Be prepared if you hit the wall. But keep going!
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