Roaming around on the internet I sometimes see what other people are doing with their finances, sometimes in great detail! Here is where I talk about what I think they should do differently. 🙂
There is a girl, who shall remain nameless, and she is trying to get out of a dump truck load of debt. Tens of thousands of dollars. She does regular updates on her “progress,” and some months progress is nonexistent.
To start off, she’s still using her credit cards (CARDS, plural). Newsflash, rocket scientists, YOU HAVE TO STOP USING YOUR CREDIT CARDS IF YOU’RE TRYING TO GET OUT OF DEBT!
Excuse the yelling, but come on! The balances go up 90% of the time in her updates because the cards are still being used!! It drives me crazy. I can’t even deal with it.
Secondly, she’s not on a budget. Writing down how much money you’re spending is not a budget. You need to know where your money is going, but you also need to be the one dictating where it goes. So at the end of the month, she’s like, “Holy Cow! I spend HOW much on eating out?” When it should be more like, “I wrote down $60 dollars for dining out at the beginning of the month. I have $2 left, go me! (And I’m always eating at home for the rest of the month).”
Which brings me to my next point: why are you eating out 4 times a week when you’re tens of thousands of dollars in debt? If you want to treat yourself once a month or go somewhere modest on the weekends, that’s fine. The budget has to be livable, after all, but to spend hundreds of dollars a month on dining out in her position is atrocious. And what makes it atrocious is the fact that she’s actively trying to pay down her debts, or so she claims.
When the needle does move on the debts, it moves to the tune of $900 one month to $50 dollars a few months later, when it’s not steadily going back up. These discrepancies are followed by excuses to the beat of, “I went on vacation this month.” or “At least it didn’t go up!”
Point number four: YOU CAN’T GO ON VACATION WHILE YOU’RE TRYING TO GET OUT OF DEBT! Again, excuse the yelling, but REALLY?! If you can put $900 on your debts on a frugal month, there is no reason she can’t get completely out of debt two years if she focused and got serious about it.
And that’s really the biggest problem she has: she isn’t willing to sacrifice, and she isn’t taking it seriously enough. Keep in mind that sacrifice is not only temporary, it’s worth it.
In one post she’s crying about how stressed she is about the debt and how determined she is to be debt free as soon as possible. Two months later she’s making excuses as to why her debt load increased by $300. Being transparent is supposed to help people stay accountable, but it doesn’t work unless you let it. It doesn’t work if you pump out excuses like a rain cloud pumps out rain.
YOU are the only one who can hold you accountable at the end of the day. Not your blog readers. Not your boyfriend. Not your best friend. Not your mentor. Hopefully, your spouse, but she isn’t married. She has to do it herself. Excuses are worth less than pennies.
She’s stuck because she doesn’t want to change. She’s stuck because she can’t fathom being a little uncomfortable for a year. And her debt will still be there in a year, perhaps worse than the year before. Until she grows up a little bit and decides to stop being a slave to her debt payments. It’s not going to go down just because she wants it to.
Complaining about something and doing nothing about it has to be one the most irritating things in the world. Either fix your crap or shut up. Don’t ask for advice if you’re not going to take it. And don’t stick to a budget for two weeks and then do whatever you want for two weeks and then complain about how sad you are when you fail. Take charge of your life. You’re not a child anymore!
IT’S NOT THAT FREAKING HARD.
Have a dollar, give it a name, grow up. End of story.