Hey, here’s a surprise! Like most of my peers I have debt, it was very easy to get in and is very hard to get out of-especially after moving twice in two years. However, we are determined that this is the year to get out of debt. I am not an expert at money, unless spending it on make-up makes me an expert? There are a few traps that I routinely fall into and that I am trying to change this year.
1.) First of all, letting my emotions rule my bank account. This is a huge weakness of mine (and, I suspect, a lot of people). Not just in the sense that I’ll spend money to make myself feel better (although, I do that as well) but in other ways as well. I tell myself I deserve a new lipstick or top because I work hard, even if that money would be better used to reduce debt. Or I’ll look at my friends and feel that I have to keep up with them by buying the same brands. The truth is that there will always be people who have more than you, and always those who have less. Some of my friends had parents pay for their university, others make more money than me and some haven’t spent all their money on travelling. This is life and unfortunately trying to keep up with others almost never works out well.
2.) Secondly, I tell myself“I’ll never be out of debt/be able to afford ‘x’ anyway”.This is a trap I fall into a lot as the slight drama queen I am. I’ll be trying to decide whether I can afford something or not. More than once I have said to myself “oh well you have so much debt anyway what’s $10/$20/$30 more? Or thought, well it doesn’t matter anyway, I’ll never be able to save up for that trip/outfit/etc. This kind of thinking is so dangerous. It’s easier to save when you already have some savings and the same with debt. But you have to start somewhere and that’s the hardest part.
3.)The third mistake I tend to make is not watching where my money goes. I have a chronic habit of picking stuff up on the way to the check-out, getting a snack on my way home or getting a to-go coffee. Sometimes I’ll leave the house with a 50 to go for coffee (this actually happened the most when I lived in Spain because a problem where everyone including the cash points give you 50 euro notes and absolutely no on will change them for you) and end up at home with nothing. It’s so easy to spend cash when it’s in your wallet. Throwing all your change into a jar, not hitting download on that song on itunes and asking yourself if you really need that diet coke on the way home.
So that’s what I’m up against. But as I said I’m very stubborn so I have no doubt that I will be able to use this year to become debt free. However, since I am not yet a money expert, I am sharing some links that I am using at the moment to keep me motivated.