I knew it would happen sooner than later. If I see one more post come through my Facebook news feed that sounds something like,
“I can’t afford to buy _________ because I have to buy Christmas presents” I think I might just lose my mind!
At what point do you recognize that 1. Christmas isn’t about presents and 2. It comes EVERY year, at the same time, so you need to be better prepared.
If you want things to be different then YOU have to make a change. Don’t wait on the others around you to do it – GET GOING! You should know that I am not one who swears but many times, I want to walk up to people, grab them by the shoulders, shake ’em around a bit and yell, GET YOUR STUFF TOGETHER!!!!!
That’s putting it politely, because I don’t swear. (Well, at least not at people. During football games maybe but that’s a different issue for another day.)
But its not just this time of year, I see it everyday – mostly as I scroll through my news feed on Facebook. People posting about how they hate their relationship (or lack thereof) , their job (or lack thereof), etc, etc. All they do is complain or apologize. They complain rather than DO something about it and they apologize because their lack of Doing something makes others unhappy or mad. They are too stressed, too tired, too unmotivated to do anything but whine and complain.
If you are one of these people, I’m telling you right now that your lack of finding a solution to the problem irritates me.
Well, because I used to be just like you. The only difference is that something finally happened to cause me to make no other choice than to change.
What’s that quote about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
Oh yeah, here it is: (thanks Google)
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So there you go, people who refuse to make the choice to change are insane. This is why I want to yell at you, because you are insane. Please, let’s stop the insanity and make some changes, ok?
What does it take for you to do that?
Well, I suppose it depends on YOU. For me, it didn’t take hitting rock bottom – losing everything I had – in order to make a financial change. No, it just took putting Christmas on credit and realizing that, as a Christian, it defeated the entire purpose and meaning of the holiday. I was interested in learning what it took for others to make a financial change too, so I posted the following in my online FPU (Financial Peace University) support group:
“What was the catalyst for your change?”
Lesa: Desperation. Realizing that I had no control over my finances. My church “just happened” to offer FPU right at that time
May: Too many overdraft fees. Crisis living. Not living on a plan.
Stephanie: Fear of any one of many possible situations that could lead us to being unable to pay bills.
Katrina: We made too much money to always be broke.
Jessica: Watching my then 86 year old grandmother writing out checks and thinking how much she and my grandfather had to sacrifice leaving Cuba and starting all over in their mid-30s. I didn’t want that sacrifice to be all for nothing.
Scott: Realizing that if things didn’t change I wasn’t providing for my family….
Michelle: Having my first child. My son took extra care, so going back to work wasn’t really an option. Suddenly going to one income without a plan was dumb. It was a bad time. We got in a bunch more debt at first because I didn’t know how to budget. Then I started looking at Dave Ramsey’s website. I used all the free tools I could. I didn’t know anyone who had ever followed Ramsey, nor anyone who was debt free. It took me almost a year of trial and error on my own to finally stop the bleeding and begin to work on our debt. We still have a long way to go, but we are living within our budget!!
Christine: Getting married and being really poor, realizing that we *had* to plan where our money was going to go if we were going to get by and make any traction on our student loans!
Shannon: We wondered why we were in so much debt all the time, so we sat down and did our first budget. By the time we listed our monthly bills and necessities like food and gas, we were more than $1,000 over budget. We would have been stupid not to get into better financial shape!
Lorna: Maxed out credit cards and I was sick and tired of laying awake at night wondering how I was going to scrounge enough money for rent month after month!!!
Miriam: Realizing I kept saying no to God’s prompting and I needed to say yes.
Angie: I have always been pretty frugal. I had “good” debt! Then I discovered DR & went crazy! He changed my way of thinking!
Elise: The birth of my daughter and the desire to light up her future with financial freedom and hope!
Julie: Coming very close to bankruptcy, living without hot water for a month because we were too broke to fix the water heater, living without air conditioning for a week in 100+ heat in July in OK because we had to wait for a paycheck to fix the AC.
Whitney: I’m still waiting patiently for that catalyst. Maybe facing homelessness…..
Angela: Making a good salary and having nothing to show for it and not being able to give to great causes because I was broke.
“Hey, I need to stop the insanity, do something different and make a change.“
One thing I always try to stress to people either through this blog or when speaking in a group is that the sooner you recognize the need for change and put a plan into action, the greater your options are to be successful. Let’; not wait until the change you need to make is because you were bankrupt, or you ended up in the emergency room or because you simply hit the absolute rock bottom. Let’s face it – there were a series of events that led to your current predicament.