I wrote an article back in spring 2016 about a young couple that paid off $89,000 in 15 months. The article was very well received, as most applauded the couple’s tenacity and hard work. I’d be lying to say the article didn’t help me out, too. It was the 2nd most popular post I’ve published (to date) and has helped introduce me to a few credit counseling clients that I currently work with (more on that below).
As is typical, though, not all reviews were roses and sugarplums.
Many conceded the hard work and the fact that Jon and Heather sacrificed a great deal in the short term to get out of debt, but many have commented that because the couple ended their debt free journey earning $110k/year, their situation doesn’t extrapolate to the majority of regular folks.
I see the argument that big numbers like $110k can slant your view of the overall totals, but when you look deeper and see that the couple lived off of under 25% of that income (about $27,500) and paid 65% (about $71,500) toward loans alone, you start to see the bigger message. Sure, if the couple made less, it would’ve taken them longer to achieve the goal, but man… The process is the same. Timing, circumstances, and specifics all come into play, but the process of sacrifice now for rewards later holds, and the light at the end of the tunnel does exist.
Per the suggestion of my better half after reading the first draft of what’s below, let me say up front:
I understand that life has a way of dealing us challenges that we aren’t prepared for. Surprise medical issues, $10k bills from the IRS, or just a gradual building of negative events that puts us in a seemingly insurmountable financial position. I get it, I sympathize, and I don’t pretend to know your current situation. What I do know is that this site is here to help entertain, and at times, motivate us to achieve more. …To be a better version of our current selves. I’m not here to offend. My focus is to help pull you up. Below I try to channel my inner Jocko (video above), to remind you that many times (not every time) – the only thing holding you back, is you.
No excuses – pay like a champion…
In a calm and rational tone:
Since the article posted (Jon and Heather), up through today, I’ve seen the same excuse: “They make more money than I do, so that’s not realistic and doesn’t apply to the majority.”
Wrong. You’re missing the point.
Discipline, sacrifice, and a drive to succeed are the tools these two used to be different and rise above the debt. They could’ve been a statistic and with the rise in total income chose to relax and spend a little more, but they didn’t. They chose discipline and said “No” to many of the things the rest of us say “Yes” to on a regular basis.
Yes – they worked hard in school to get great jobs, and yes – they are high earners, but the debt free life isn’t restricted to high earners.
I am working with a client now who makes $40k, owns a house, and is nearly out of $7,500 in credit card debt in under 11 months (this post coming soon). She’s not classified as a high earner, yet she made it happen – and she’s not a unicorn.
If you’re thinking, “I don’t make enough.” – Go make more.
“I spend too much.” – Spend less.
“I just can’t make more or spend less… Kids, life, job, etc…” Wrong. Stop wasting your time thinking of reasons why you can’t. Take a breath, get out there, and start thinking of ways to improve.
The world is too connected and we’re too smart of a society for there not to be any options available. If you’re at a loss, send me an email and we’ll brainstorm.
Start small, build gradually, but please – Stop making excuses, and START GETTING AFTER IT!
Thanks for reading!
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