I have a tendency to speak honestly – a little too honestly, probably – when it comes to my urge to motivate people to live better. My heart is in the right place for sure, but I have to work hard at making the words that come out of my mouth match up with the mega-compassion that’s in my heart. This post was born out of that compassion, so please excuse any missteps in the area of overly-bluntness and read through to the motivation that it’s meant to give.
This post was born out of Ruth’s post on Metacognition in Personal Finance that she wrote last week. In it, Ruth shares:
“I know that for all of those years when I maintained and deepened our levels of debt, I wasn’t using metacognition at all. I definitely did as Amy did. When times were extra good financially, I felt a giddy compulsion to spend that extra. I also spent more when things were extra busy. And I spent more when I felt extra anxious about something. I spent more in accordance with bursts of extra love too – especially when it came to one of our children – and at times of celebration.”
Oh man, did that paragraph ring a bell with me. As we were growing our debt levels back in suburbia, there was always an excuse to spend – at least for me.
- Rick got a raise – let’s celebrate!
- This day sucks – let’s treat ourselves and go out to eat
- We work hard and deserve a break – let’s go out to eat
- We spend way less than most people on furniture – let’s buy that new couch
There was always an excuse for spending more than we earned. And they were good excuses! We do work hard. Some days suck and we do need stress relief. We did spend way less than most people in our suburban city. We do deserve to celebrate good things!
But the question we started to ask ourselves as our debt load grew was:
What do we really deserve?
We may deserve that dinner out or that new furniture, but do we deserve the money stressors that followed when we get the credit card bill in the mail?
Do we deserve to give up bigger, long-term financial goals that can change our life so that we can have immediate, not-nearly-as-important treats?
I think not.
It’s time for us to start thinking about what we truly deserve, and to find the BIG reason why we all want so badly to have freedom from debt and financial security. It’s about SO much more than being able to buy “stuff” without a second thought.
The truth is that our reason, our deep down, bottom-of-the-heart reason for wanting financial freedom is exactly that: for freedom’s sake.
So that we’re not tied to our employer, our mortgage company or our credit card bank holder.
It’s so that we can do what we’re called in our hearts to do without the chain of “having-to-pay-the-bills” holding us back.
I want you to think about that as you contemplate making that next “I deserve” purchase.
I want you to think about putting that money into your “f-u” fund instead of giving it to the coffee shop for that latte’.
You deserve financial freedom more than you deserve those little “extras” that give you short-term satisfaction but promote long-term financial instability. So, go for your BIG dreams, and leave your spur-of-the-moment desires in the dust.