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Get Out Of Debt


overcoming short term frustration and defeat

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by Paul Kindzia in Happiness, Health, Personal Finance
June 8, 2021

Out of a 12 month calendar period, it probably happens to me a few months of the year.  I mentally tell myself at the start of the month something along the lines of, “I’m going to kick butt and save extra this month.”  When I do that, I usually have those extra dollars earmarked for something in particular.  Maybe it was additional retirement investing.  Maybe it was towards an eventual new car or some discretionary spending.  But as the days tick by, I quickly have to come to grips with the reality that not only am I not on track to save extra that month, but worse yet, I’m over budget!

That’s when those “not so good” feelings set in complete with some anxiety, stress, frustration, anger, disappointment and good old fashioned defeat.  Sometimes I just feel like puking or maybe even crying while throwing my hands up in the air and thinking,

“What do I have to do to speed this wealth process up and get ahead even faster?!?!?!”

The frustrating thing about wealth building is that it takes a very long time for it all to come together and build up into substantial sums.  There’s actually a lot of boring or frustrating stretches where it seems like things are just crawling along at a snail’s pace and not making any meaningful progress.

Here are 3 tricks that I use to keep my spirits up and refocus;

  1. I remind myself that I’m doing the best I can in the here and now. I normally don’t go over budget blowing money recklessly or carelessly.  I also remind myself that I “pay myself first” on core savings and I am on track to hit my annual savings goal (If you’re not, then there are deeper issues to address that will require some tough decisions).  So in the overall scheme of things, I remind myself that I am well on my way to achieving my long term goals and I shouldn’t beat myself up if I don’t over-achieve every single month.  Actually, if you did over-achieve on saving every single month, you are probably sacrificing too much in the short term.
  2. Budgeting is never an exact science which is why I leave myself a good “margin of safety.” There is no way to predict when you will get a flat tire, or when your dog gets sick, or when the refrigerator breaks down completely.  It’s just more important to know that you will need new tires at some point, your animals will need vet care, and your appliances will get to the end of their useful life.  Most things that we own will either need to be completely replaced at some point or some level of regular maintenance.  Therefore, I don’t beat myself up in any particular month when a few things come up that were “unexpected” in the short run.  Those same items that came up are not really unrealistic to encounter in the long run.  It’s best to just take a chill pill and shrug it off.  In some years your health expenses will be lower but your home ownership expenses will be higher.  The next year it could be completely reversed.  But if you are making your annual savings goal, then all is ok (and some years that may not even be possible depending on circumstances).
  3. I remind myself that wealth building is an enhancement to my personal happiness. It’s not the end-all-be-all in the scope of life.  If you were to rank things as far as real priorities, then health and happiness should rank very high.  To be healthy, I know I need daily fresh air and sunshine.  I also need adequate sleep/rest along with reducing my stress.  In order to be happy, I need balance in my life.  That includes hobbies and activities.  Knowing that I’m trying to balance wealth, health and happiness (and not just pure wealth at any cost) is something that I need particular reminders on.  Wealthy individuals have an amazing ability to sacrifice and postpone leisure and defer consumption/spending.  Wealth builders are natural savers who can stretch a dollar farther than most.  But there is a balance in there and if you are a wealth builder reading this, you can relate to overcompensating in one area of life at the expense of other areas.

Wealth building is not always easy or smooth.  There is never a straight line to wealth the road will be curvy and frustrating at times. You will have setbacks.  You will have failures, frustrations and feel defeat.  Sometimes we need to just step back and look at the bigger picture before diving back down into the details which are causing us too much stress and anxiety.  We can remind ourselves that we aren’t like most Americans who are loaded up on debt with cash consuming homes and cars that we really can’t afford.  We are prudent people with our own set of goals and objectives in life.  If you are a wealth builder, your problems are different than the masses.  Your problems are usually self-imposed pressures because you didn’t save as much as you dreamed about versus others who may be wondering how they are going to make the next month’s mortgage payment.  Keep your anxieties in check.

Good habits lead to good behaviors.  Good behaviors lead to good decisions.  Good decisions lead to a good life.  Live by principles and choose wisely.

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These are the EXACT same steps I used to PERMANENTLY get rid of my mortgage, student loans, credit card debt, and auto loan debt.

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