Was money talked about in your home growing up? It wasn’t really in mine. Personal income and personal debt is often a fiercely guarded secret. It’s a widely held belief that it should be. I never knew what my parents made, or anyone else for that matter. Nor did I know what anything of any importance cost. This isn’t a criticism my parent’s or anyone else’s, it’s just the way it was. It’s the way it is.
In high school I remember being told salary amounts that different careers may earn and it meant nothing to me because I had no base of comparison. It’s not polite to talk about money, it’s not appropriate conversation. This way of thinking is what gets so many of us in the sticky situation we are in. We don’t learn about money in a practical way which would allow us to navigate the world of loans, interest, mortgages, and credit cards; and yet we are all expected to manage all of these things with expert capability.
When you don’t talk about something for long enough, it is easy to push it to the back of your mind, ignore it, and become complacent about it. If you have personal debt and you’re not talking to anyone about it and not changing the behaviour which caused you to incur the debt, it is likely steadily growing in the background. Perhaps it’s not on your mind daily but rather a constant weight that doesn’t go away; an invisible draw on your energy, resources, and psyche.
So what is the answer? Talk about it! Easier said than done, I know. I wasn’t able to talk about it for years, but once I did, I realized no one really cares! No one cares that you’re in debt and if they hear that you are, and that you’re trying to do something about it, they are more likely to be impressed, envious, and inspired; not judgemental.
Though no one is talking about their personal debt around the water cooler, the playground, or the pub, most are likely carrying quite a bit of it. By opening up about your situation and getting help developing a debt repayment plan, you might be able to help those around you feel empowered to do the same.
When you talk about your situation you may find that the people around you can help in a variety of ways. If you share that you’re working at manifesting money over and above your salary in order to speed up debt payments, you may uncover money making opportunities that you didn’t expect. When you open yourself up to opportunity, opportunity finds you.
For years I felt like I was going to carry my debt forever, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Now I’m projecting to be out of debt by November 2019, then moving on to my mortgage with a plan to be mortgage free during my 40’s. This is a bit more of a vague goal since a new home down the line will change the amount to pay off. Vague goals are not against the rules. I don’t know exactly how and when we will become mortgage free, but when you are mindful of your spending and keep your financial goals a priority in your life, the results can be very surprising!
If you’re feeling like you just can’t get ahead of your debt, you don’t really know where your money is going, you’re making ends meet and making minimum payments but you can’t afford to do the things you want to, you might consider financial coaching. You can get out of debt faster than you think and you can start planning for the life you really want and will be able to afford when you kick the debt payments and interest to the curb.
Whether or not you decide to work with a financial coach to get on track to drop your debt you can get started yourself by doing the following:
Face your number! Add up all of your debts aside from your mortgage and just let that number sink in.
Figure out how and when you can become debt free (I can help calculate this!)
Give your debt-free journey a deadline! And I mean an ACTUAL DATE. If it's three years from today, your goal is NOT "In 3 years" Your goal is July 11, 2021. This will keep your target from moving on you and always being 3 years away as time passes.
TELL EVERYONE! You can gain a great deal of accountability by just telling the people about your goal. Even if these people are not active participants in holding you to that date, just the act of putting it out there is going to affect the way you think, feel, and pursue your goal.
Be open about your own money struggles and you'll be surprised how many people =will open up to you about their own financial situation. This will allow you to learn from others and also give you an opportunity to teach others what YOU HAVE LEARNED as you gain clarity and control over your own personal finances.
If you find any of this blog, or the others on my site are relatable for you, it's likely you would benefit from financial coaching. Contact me to book your session! (Offered remotely or in person locally)