It is easy to feel off-balance when you are overwhelmed by debt. Trustmeonit! The worst for me, in the past thankfully, was feeling trapped by a job I couldn’t stand because I was living pay-check-to-pay-check. Feeling trapped made everything worse; it made every task at work more grueling.
When there is some financial clarity, or space to breathe, it is easier to listen to the strings of your heart as they tell you where you should be, or should be heading. “The median household wealth in America is at a 43-year low. This is partly due to the great mass of recession foreclosures, but also because a huge segment of the population is simply not earning enough money to save — and saving is the first step on the road to economic security,” says Bruce Watson, a senior features writer for DailyFinance. He’s right!! (I say this with surprise because I actually understand something written in a finance article!) It wasn’t until we were able to pull ourselves out of debt that we had the freedom to really look at our life from every angle.
In a recent article, Watson compiles a list of 25 ways to help get you some cold hard cash (make sure to click on the scrolling picture list at the bottom of the article for the 25 ways). Some of these ways are pretty harsh (disclaimer: I am not endorsing any of these methods and will not be held accountable for any results—unless they are awesome results—then please send your friends to this blog), but most of them have one thing in common: GET ANOTHER JOB!!!
I cannot tell you how many people I have encountered in my life who were reluctant to get a second, part-time job, in order to pull themselves out of dire straits. And I’m talkin’ DIRE! It is not going to damage anything but your pride, maybe, for you to suck-it-up for a little bit and pay off those cards, catch up on late payments, whatever. It will be way worse when you have to find a new place to live, and then can’t or have few options because of your horrible credit. People I love are going through this now.
1. It’s temporary.
2. You might learn new skills or make new networking connections that will help you in the future.
3. You will inspire those around you to make smarter decisions (theoretically) about money.
4. Your kids will learn a valuable lesson by your example, not only about finance, but about responsibility.
5. Even though you might be missing out on time with your partner/family early on, you will have a much stronger (repaired even) relationship when you can stop screaming about money all the time. Money is the number one relationship ender (according to something I read and have long since lost the source).
The first thing I did for my relationship, and financial freedom, was to come clean with a financial expert. He set me up with a cool spreadsheet that helped me pay down my debt in a rolling fashion. I have been $20,000 in debt before and am happily speaking to you from the other side. At the hardest times, I cleaned toilets to make my car payment. This is not an exaggeration or a metaphor. At the best time, however, I was able to make a decision about staying home with my little girls. I am still always looking at other ways to do things, make things, and bring in extra money. Old habits die hard.
Hopefully, this post will inspire you to make new habits. If you need to talk about it, I’m here. For realz.