As another new year begins, I bet that many people have made some sort of financial resolution.
Maybe it’s to get out of debt. Maybe it’s to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. Perhaps it’s to build some savings. Or maybe it’s to fund a vacation before actually taking the vacation. The resolution can take many shapes but the bottom line is still the same.
People want change.
And, in this case, people want a financial change.
If that is you this year, welcome. Welcome to the club. Grab a drink, pull up a chair and let’s chat because you and I are working toward the same thing: to see a difference in our financial lives at the end of 2017 than what we are starting 2017 with.
My particular financial resolution? To pay off another $17,000 in debt.
Yeah. Seventeen thousand. That’s a big number.
And, to be honest, it feels like a big goal. But, my husband and I have been toddling along on this debt-free journey for five years now. And we’re ready to be done with it. We’re ready to get serious and focused. We’re ready to start running.
So…why not set a goal that feels a little too big for our britches? It’s not a goal that is completely out of reach, mind you. That would be counter-productive, I think. Instead, it’s a goal that is just out of reach. Enough to make us work just a little harder, push just a little longer and dig just a little deeper in order to pull it off.
And how are we going to get this debt paid off, you ask? Well, simple. We’re going to follow three steps.
- Follow the budget
- Stop making excuses.
That’s it. We’ve been doing step 1 our entire marriage. It’s steps 2 and 3 that have been the issue. We have faithfully had a household “budget meeting” every month – before the month began – since we got married five years ago. We just haven’t followed the budget that we made quite as faithfully.
This year, however, that is going to change because we are no longer going to allow ourselves to make the excuses that we’ve come up with over the course of our marriage.
Restaurants can wait. Guns can wait. New-to-us cars can wait. Pedicures can wait. Vacations can wait. Weekend getaways can wait. All of the “extras” in life can wait because we don’t deserve anything.
Yes, we work hard. And yes, we want to enjoy the “fruits of our labor.” But, right now, we need to focus on freeing up all of the income we’re making today for future opportunities instead of it being obligated to the past. And that means foregoing some “extra” now so we can enjoy it more later.
So, who’s with me? Who’s ready to stop making the excuses that keep you from fulfilling your 2017 financial resolution?