I had to relate it to dieting, and counting calories. I didn't count my calories, I gained weight, I kept track of what I ate, I lost weight. Exercising is like getting a second job, it helps against having to eat less, or that donut that you want to eat. It isn't really rocket science.
This was a huge issue for me, as I didn't want to keep track, I didn't want to say no, and especially tell my kids or my spouse they couldn't have something when they needed something. That eventually got the better of us. We didn't have to file for bankruptcy or have a dire need but it could have had it happen.
What changed for me?
I began listening to Dave Ramsey. I knew all the baby steps that he talks about, but I didn't want to follow them. Listening for a week changed me enough to realize that things needed to change. Things that impacted me:
- Tired of living with a debt hanging over my head, seeing more bills at the end of the paycheque.
- Wondering why when I was getting a raise didn't mean affording anything more.
- Stop worrying about getting out of debt and just get out of debt.
- I didn't get into debt overnight why expect to get OUT of debt overnight
- Big expenses would send us reeling, affecting us for months.
I really liked the simplicity of his getting out of debt plans.
- Save $1000 emergency fund.
- Pay off the debts
- Cut the monthly expenses as much as possible "rice and beans"
- Look at ways of cutting expenses, sell the car payment, renegotiate better terms on debts, anything that will cut an expense by a couple bucks. ( I looked, for example, at my utility payments and found another retailer that saved me $100's per year)
- Sell off stuff to pay those debts.
- Save for 3 - 6 months emergency funds.
- This is not investment strategy here, this is putting money aside, period.
- Invest for retirement
- Dave says 15% but if you can do more, do more. The goal is to think a large amount that could sustain you for 30 years, with no debts.
- College fund for kids
- Pay off the house
- Build wealth and give.