Stick it out. That’s now the goal.
Now that I’ve spent the time to sit down and come up with a detailed budget, a plan for what is going to happen to every dollar that comes into my hot little hands for the foreseeable future, all that is left to do is carry it out. A lot easier said then done, as the ins and outs of life start happening around my carefully constructed budget.
I know it’s going to be difficult. A lot of people struggle with sticking to a budget, Mike and me included, because honestly, it’s hard. It’s one thing to say I’m going to sacrifice virtually all eating out for the time being, but to actually do it? To actually make the decision to make that sacrifice every single day? That takes staying power. That takes a higher vision than just the here and the now.
What is my vision? I’ve already said it a million times, but I’ll say it again- Mike and I want to be debt-free. But it’s more than that. Becoming debt-free is just another step to something else, to financial freedom. But, what is financial freedom?
I could tell you that budgeting is a tool to help you become debt-free, to help you build wealth, to help you finally become secure, to help you manage your money so someday you will finally be able to buy whatever it is you wish. I could tell you that that is what financial freedom is. Sure, maybe on the outside.
That’s not really why Mike and I are doing it, though. I mean, we would love to have the freedom to buy our dream home and lots of nice things to go with it, but that desire is not enough for us to stick it out in the long run.
To us, financial freedom is finally being in that place where money has no hold over our hearts, minds, and actions. Where fear- fear of not having enough, fear of not looking like everyone else, fear of losing everything we have- isn’t the motivating factor in our money-making decisions. Do you know what the best way to conquer fear is? Getting right up in it’s face and exposing it.
For Mike and I, becoming debt-free, and sticking to this budgeting plan to help accomplish that, is all about exposing our fears surrounding money. Granted, we have no other option at this point. The props have been kicked out from under us and it’s either sink or swim. We don’t make enough money to do anything else!
But don’t think for a second that that makes it any easier to stick to the budget. We could sell out and forge ahead into an abyss of credit card debt, and forfeit every extra dime we make to pursuing our pleasures instead of putting that money toward debt. Or we could just become really bitter and angry and shut down, wallowing in our own misery and the unfairness of it all (and some days, we do).
In the end? We’re choosing to stick it out because we believe there is eternal value in what we are doing and learning. We believe that when it’s all said and done there is going to be an accounting of our life here on earth, and that is going to include the way that we handled our money. And we believe that this journey to becoming debt-free is producing something in us, something that will last way beyond the beautiful house or fancy car. It is producing glory in us, refined in the fires of difficulties and sacrifices.
That is our vision. The eternal weight of glory on our inner man. That is what gives us the power to stick it out.
How about you? What’s your vision?