If you are new to the blog, click HERE to start at the beginning of my story.
At this point I am on the path to becoming debt free.
- I acknowledged that I needed to make a change.
- Chose debt settlement.
- Found the right debt settlement company for my needs.
- Stopped making payments.
- Called my bank to let them know I was in a financial hardship.
This next step in the process was probably the biggest shocker of them all. You see, since I had committed my lines of credit and credit card to a settlement program, I could no longer use them.
I can’t charge anything?
How will I live?
This was a real wake up call. I soon realized that I couldn’t actually afford my lifestyle. The first change I made was to either pay cash or use my debit card for all of my purchases. This forced me to make hard decisions. If I didn’t have the money in my account, I wouldn’t buy it.
Simple enough………to say that is. But not that simple to do. I had to undo decades of habitual overspending.
Time to start making choices. So what would I cut out? There were dozens of adjustments I made, but here are a few:
- No more Starbucks
- No more impromptu lunches out with friends.
- Probably don’t need that Netflix subscription.
- Say goodbye to HBO.
- Whole Foods is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE and off the hit list.
- Costco is my friend.
- Instead of turning on the heat, I put on a sweater.
- Cancel the cleaning lady and the gardener. Sunday is family cleaning day.
- Do I really need the extra soft toilet paper?
- I LOVE generic everything! 🙂
The most interesting by-product of these changes was that I started living more consciously. Every decision was challenged. A distinction was made between my needs and my wants.
I have a greater appreciation for the thriftiness of my grandparents. I used to make fun of my grandmother for delicately unwrapping presents in hopes of trying to re-use the wrapping paper……well….I still laugh about that one. Some things really are ridiculous!!
Stay tuned. Stay afloat. Wealth and freedom are in your future.
P.S. As an aside, I did keep a few low balance, low interest credit cards out of the program for emergency purposes. I have kids, so I do need a safety net. That said, I made a promise to myself, and my family, that these cards were to be used for emergencies only. No frivolous usage.