• Theresa Gray

Debt is ugly but budgets are beautiful!

Did you know that ‘budget’ doesn't have to mean ‘crummy’ or ‘boring’ or ‘cheap’?

I have a fear that people tune out when I say the “B word”!

Budget can mean nice furniture, high end trips to Machu Picchu and delicious dinners at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse!

Embrace the budget!

When I say “you need to have a budget” I mean you need to know what you want, and have a plan made to go and get it!

First step is to decide what you want (and who knows what you want better than you)? Once you have a list, make some notes on when you want to have that item and rank the list from your highest priority to lowest. What is on the top of your list? How badly do you want it? The higher your motivation, the easier it will be to make some changes in your life. You need to decide that you want that thing enough to change your current method of operation and decide to make a plan to do those things! And that, my friends, is how you get motivated to start living on a budget!

At the top of our list was become debt free. So we figured out how to live on a smaller part of our income and used the balance to pay off debt. It took us a long time, but we were motivated.

While we were paying off our $110,000 debt, we had a worn out couch that was ugly and embarrassing. It was a dark brown ‘leather’ sectional, that started to peel at about 6 years old. It started slowly on one cushion and then the peeling spread like mold across the whole couch. It really was ugly!

Any furniture company around would have given us great financing on a new couch but we were committed to paying off our debt. The couch became a weird badge of honor and a way to remind ourselves how badly we wanted to be out of debt. It was a wonderful visual of what debt looked like (it was ugly) and was a constant reminder of what we had let into our lives. We let the couch become our oversized brown peeling version of a “Scarlet A”, a symbol that we couldn’t wear it on our chest, but that purposely ‘graced’ our living room for years.

The couch was a constant a reminder to us, of our debt, and a testimonial of our budget to our friends. When our friends came over, they either politely tried not to look directly at the couch or they would come out and say, “you really need a new couch!” Either way, it was a good opportunity for us to talk about what we were doing with the debt and how we were so excited to get a new couch!

It took us a little over 3 years to pay off the debt, and another few months to save up the cash for

the new couch. The ‘new’ couch is white, well made and definitely not peeling, and it is NOT UGLY! I’d go so far as to say that it’s beautiful.

We have a beautiful new couch because of having a budget!

#debt #financialwellness #budget

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