I want you to do something for me. Look up from this post and look around the room. Take note of what you see that catches your eye. Perhaps it is the big TV you just purchased. Maybe you notice your favorite recliner. It could even be the new device in your hand.
Now, close your eyes. Once you open them, look around your room again. Except this time, look with your heart. What do you see that you need? Perhaps you see the photos of your children. You may notice their artwork on the refrigerator. Your child might be even be looking up smiling at you. You may even see your spouse cooking dinner. These are the things that are important. These are the things which can keep you out of debt.
High Def TVs, fancy furniture, the latest electronic gadgets – these are things. In the grand scheme of life, things do not matter. If you look at your debt, how much of it is as a result of getting things? Granted things have happened for some of you that you could not control (illness, death loss of job).
For many, it was the stuff that got them into debt. It is a hard reality check, but it really can help you gain some perspective (trust me – it did for us).
As you pay down your debt, you start to take note of what matters. You realize that the TV did not bring you happiness. Sure, you may enjoy it, but at the end of the day, it is just an inanimate object. A thing. A thing that is replaceable.
When my husband and I began our debt free journey, we took a good hard look at the things we had in our life. We actually got rid of a lot of things. I mean a lot.
For us, it was just stuff. Stuff that did not matter to us. Being debt free and happy mattered. Teaching our children about the importance of living a financially independent life mattered.
That helped us to not only regain perspective, but we actually even made money too – which we used to pay down our debts. Take a look around your house. What things can you live without? What could you perhaps sell to make a few extra bucks? I promise you that getting rid of it can be a weight off of your shoulders because it is oftentimes the stuff that is holding us back and keeping us down.
Now that we have only our home remaining as our only debt, we are happier. Yes, we have less stuff. Our van is more than ten years old and we don’t have any plans to get a new one.
We have more freedom and so much less stress. The idea of living that way again (drowning in debt) and seeing how it affects the way we act around each other and our children keeps us from ever going down that path again. We know what matters and stuff doesn’t matter at all.
Simply your life and the rest, will follow. Just wait and see.