I’m taking a little break from the blog since I’ll be getting married this weekend and honeymooning next week! With all this excitement going on, I can’t forget about this amazing online community since I consider my readers friends. I’ve got some pretty awesome guests posts lined up while I’m away so I hope you enjoy some new voices and stories and check back on Tuesday and Thursday next week for more. Today we have a post from Shirria, a fellow mama and bloggers who (like most of us) is working her way out of debt and inspiring those around her.
“Hello, I’m Shirria, mother of five, full time social worker, part- time side hustler, and blogger at www.Goaldiggingtohappiness.com. There I share my personal journey towards financial freedom with the goal to inform and empower others via my personal journey towards financial freedom, just one goal at a time. Connect with me via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!”
It happens. Often, your coworker invites you to lunch, a family member mentions a trip, or friends want to go shopping. You gently decline and explain that you are on a strict budget.
The questions follow which lead to further explanation about your financial freedom journey to get out of debt sooner rather than later. Which then leads to more detailed questions about the numbers, finally followed by the awkward silence, and their loud, yet unspoken, judgement and opinions.
Judgements, or fallacies about why I’m on a journey to financial freedom annoy me, mainly because I’ll share the truth anytime. People come to their own conclusions as to why:
I’m really trying to get out of debt
Why I really don’t want to or can’t go shopping
Why I really don’t want to just put that trip on my credit card,
Why I really, really want to get out of debt.
Once coworkers, family, and friends come to their own conclusions, their ideas are usually communicated in a joking matter or in a condescending statement. These five fallacies of my financial freedom journey are just some of the ones I recognize often, but trust me there are many more.
1. I’m Broke or Poor
There is a huge difference, in my opinion, from being broke with bills left to pay and being broke with all your bills paid. When I began my journey back in late July, I was “broke with bills left to pay.” After all bills were paid and all necessities taken care of, I’d be lucky to have $20.00 left until next pay check.
However, since being on my journey, developing a budget, eliminating unnecessary expenses, and paying off four credit cards thus far, I have more money available that I apply toward debt.
Since becoming debt free is my priority, money that I would have used in the past to shop and eat out is now contributed towards extra debt payments first. As a result, vacations, shopping trips, and restaurant lunches no longer appeal to me.
2. I Have/Had a Habit.
Coworkers, family members, and friends know enough about me to know that I don’t have or ever had a drug or gambling habit, however I’m sure by their comments that they may conclude that about my husband.
The reality is, however we (my hubby and I) have had “habits” that contributed to being in as much debt, and that “habit” is more common among other individuals as well. Unfortunately, we were addicted to keeping up with the Jones’ which I’m sure is as common as any other addiction.
3. We are Losing Everything.
It’s sad to say that some, not all, of my coworkers, family, and friends assume that for me to be working so diligently towards becoming debt free, I’d have to be on the verge of losing everything. I’ve never entertained that comment or question enough to see exactly how or what that they think I may be losing and to whom but that is certainly not the case.
4. I’m Facing Foreclosure or Bankruptcy.
Very similar to the idea above, a question I may get asked is “are you in bankruptcy” or “are you facing foreclosure?” Once I inform them that I’m actually not facing either, and I’m working to become debt free because I want to and not because I have to, is usually when I get the awkward silences and the unspoken opinions.
In reality, I am aware that in my previous situation, I could have been one paycheck away from facing either and that reality contributed my commitment to my financial freedom journey.
5. I’m lying.
Finally, people assume that I’m plain out lying because no one would willingly work hard to pay off over $200k of debt within 4-7 years since it’s designed to be paid back over a lifetime. Usually these are people who don’t see me in person and communicate or see me via social media more often than in person.
As a result, they see pictures of my lifestyle, my well groomed children, my car, or any of the other things that people associate with status and wealth and assume that I am lying about wanting to and trying to get out of debt.
I’ve been on my journey about 8 months now and have grown a thick skin to such comments, opinions and fallacies. It actually fuels my commitment to continue to remain focused and really show them what living debt free is like.
Getting out of debt is hard enough without people making judgments about your financial freedom journey. Find out how Shirria acknowledged those judgments and overcame them.” width=”683″ height=”1024″ />What fallacies or opinions do you hear about your journey? How does it make you feel?
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