Just when I think I’m coming to terms with all the changes I’m making, I find myself either crying on my life coach’s couch or being hit over the head with a book. This week, both happened.
This post is about the book.
Two years ago, my brother sent me a copy of Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover,” along with a photo of all his credit cards cut to bits. He was starting Dave’s program to get out of debt. I thought, “good for you!’ … but I didn’t see my own debt as a problem, I saw it as more of an annoyance every month as I made the minimum payments on my loans. I was making more money than I ever had, so I thought things were pretty awesome.
Today, he is debt free, and I most definitely am not. I recently came across the book I had tucked away on the shelf two years ago, and there was a tugging at my heart. So I began reading it.
I have surrendered a lot lately. I am leaning in to a life of sacrifice in order to become my authentic self, and it’s uncomfortable. I have said good bye to things that I prized, but that no longer serve me, like alcohol and toxic relationships. I am on uncomfortable ground; I no longer fit into old boxes, and I haven’t found new ones yet. I am in the spaces between old/familiar and new/unfamiliar. I am tempted every day to go back to the old desires and false pleasures, which is why I need to remind myself every day of why I’m choosing sacrifice.
And seeing that book was like being hit by a lightning bolt. I’m seeking freedom, yet I will never be free if I’m not financially free.
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” - Proverbs 22:7
I haven't been taking care of my money. This comes as no surprise to me because up until very recently, I hadn’t been taking care of myself. My money mess is a reflection of me. So, as I work to clean up the mess inside me, my life will begin to reflect that. As I step more and more into alignment of who I am, my self worth goes up and everything in my life begins to flourish: relationships, career, and yes, money.
My spending habits have been a false pleasure. I spend haphazardly, with an “I deserve it” mentality. And even though I’ve been suffering from low grade chronic anxiety over my debt for years, I have tried to ignore it, and find temporary relief from the pain, by spending.
It’s time to clean up this area of my life and, as they say, start “adulting.”
The first step in Dave’s program is budgeting. It’s been a real eye-opener for me to track where my money’s going. It’s four days into August and I’ve already spent $160 on food. At this rate, I will have eaten $1,220 by the month's end! I am challenging myself to eat well on half that amount.
I have a lot of emotional blocks when it comes to budgeting. (Ex. “Eating rice and beans is for poor people, not me.”) But like I said, time to start adulting. Time to let go of old beliefs that don’t work anymore and commit to believing new ones that do. Eating sushi and shopping at Whole Foods every day doesn’t make me cool or free.
As long as I have debt, I can never be wealthy.
I am excited and very scared to begin this financial overhaul. But I’m going full tilt despite the fear. I know like I know like I know that this is the right time, and the right way, to become financially free. Time to start obliterating my debt!
Time to eat rice and beans.