Spending more than you make is a common problem; especially here in the U.S. We are a nation driven by consumerism. Credit card companies haven’t made it hard to attain instant gratification by getting what we want now and paying later…..way later, years later, if need be. Unfortunately, the more we rack up debt the more interest we owe. Those items that may not have been outrageously priced before could end up being triple or quadruple the price due to high interest rates that accumulate over time.
So, in order to get out of debt and to start spending less than you make you have to practice discipline. It is easier said than done for all of us. But here are some practical steps to put that discipline into action now so you can start your journey to financial freedom.
1. Believe You Can!
It sounds cheesy, it sounds Oprah, but it is true. If you are surrounded by people who are constantly telling you it is impossible or listening to stories that are the antithesis to your goals you will be more apt to give up. However, if you surround yourself with people who have gone through the financial trenches and succeeded, who have success stories of working their way out of debt, then you will be more prone to stay on the horse! You really do have to believe that you can succeed. Negativity will get you nowhere. Keep reading and listening to inspirational stories and keep your eye on the prize!
2. Eliminate, Eliminate, Eliminate!
Put up safeguards so that you are protected from overspending. The Bible talks about doing this with any type of temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says:
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Walking closely with the Lord and asking Him for His strength is really the only way you can fully succeed. Temptation comes in many forms and if we don’t stick close to God, and we decide to take matters into our own hands, the means of escape may not be so obvious to us.
Practically, if this means cutting up credit cards so you can have a visual, CUT THEM UP! If this means avoiding your normal financial nemesis’ like the mall or a fast food joint then AVOID. Do everything you can to avoid your temptation. Safeguard your wallet and act in wisdom.
3. Say “NO” to Your Flesh!
We often give in to small things during the day, but giving in, and not be able to practice self-control, does not bide well in many areas of life. For example:
- If you want to stay married you have to say NO to many of your selfish desires.
- If you want to lose weight you have to say NO to your sugar cravings.
- If you want a clean house you have to say NO to the couch.
- If you want to be debt free then you have to say NO to that shiny new thing.
Saying no is empowering! It tells you that you can be in control of the situation. And in this case it shows you that you have money and money doesn’t have you. You have to say no in order to achieve anything in this life. There is no gain without sacrifice.
Finally, just like parents do with their children, say no! It never killed a child to hear no, they may have thought they were going to die, but in the end the parents knew best and the kids thrived within the designated boundaries. Be that parent in your own life and make sacrifices now that will benefit you in the long-run. You can do it!
Featured image by https://dribbble.com/rasera