I mentioned in a previous entry that I was working at paying off credit card debt; and I got a very happy surprise in the mail on Friday night. Credit card #2 will be paid off with a $16 payment in September. The debt on this card was (from what I can remember) the highest of the four I’m paying off, and seeing that it only has $16 left to pay on it, I am so encouraged. That piece of mail got me thinking about the things I’ve learned from being financially responsible, and the overall theme has been you don’t have to have it all.
1. You can live without cable. There are at least a half-dozen sites on the internet where you can watch television (this does mean, though, that you have to have high-speed internet).
2. You can live without haircuts every six weeks. I haven’t had my hair cut since February. It doesn’t look as great as it could, but that’s okay. I’ve gotten used to having to work to make it look fantastic, but I have saved so much money by just letting it grow out. I could be trimming it myself, but I don’t trust me and scissors on my own hair, so I’ll just wait.
3. You can live without brand new (or brand name) clothes. I have learned the joy of shopping at Goodwill and the excitement of finding two new pair of Gap pants for less than $20.You can find some really good deals if you’re willing to work a bit for them.
4. You can live without so much of a social life. I work 40 hours a week at the bank and then 12 hours a week on other jobs as well as writing this blog and my personal blog, too. I don’t always have time to spend with my friends, and while they get frustrated with that sometimes, they know why I’m doing it. (Church has been my social life, and that works a-okay for me!) My friends have also been amazing in understanding that I can go out to dinner with them if they help me out, and they’re fantastic about that.
5. You can live without what you want and just get by on what you need. Right now, there is a huge list of “want” in my life, and a very short list of “need” and I’m still surviving. My bills are being paid and I’m a happy woman. Think about this a bit … do you really *need* that next purchase or is it on the want list?
6. You can live without being absolutely independent. You can ask for help. I’ve asked my friends, I’ve asked my family, I’ve even reached out to pastors at church and asked for help. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. You know you can’t handle something on your own and so you turn to someone else.
What can you live without?