I remember when I was a new college graduate and I’d just landed my first job at Charles River Laboratories in Maryland. I was so excited about the new opportunity, but I was also scared out of my mind. I was reluctant to take the job because I would only be making $14.25 per hour. This equated to about $2280 a month before taxes and only $1610 after taxes. After sitting down and doing the math, I realized that after paying my rent, utilities, and other bills I would only be left with $100 each month. As a 21-year-old, I just couldn’t wrap my head around surviving on only $100 a month. How was I supposed to get my hair done? What about going out to eat? What about being able to shop? How in the world was I supposed to make it? The budget I’d setup was super strict and didn’t allow room for error. I remember taking these concerns to my Mother and explaining to her my situation. What I remember more from this incident is her response. “So, what? All your bills are paid and you have a job, you’ll make it work”. I’m sure she probably said a lot more, but the one thing I took away from the conversation was “You’ll make it work”, and that’s exactly what I did. I made it work. My first week in Maryland I went and found a second job at an Express in a Mall a couple of minutes from my house. I worked my full-time job Mon-Fri from 7-3:30 and I then I came home and I worked my second job as many days a week that I could from 5:30-close. I ate Ramen Noodles, I used coupons at McDonalds so that my Big Mac would only be $1. I slept, work, ate, repeat. I made it work, and I did this until five months later my job situation changed and I was able to start traveling thus bringing in more income. I made it work.
Let’s face it, many of us aren’t ready to do what must be done in order to make things work in our lives. There’s a famous quote from Dave Ramsey that says “Live like no one else so that you can Live like no one else”. To do this, it involves sacrifice. It involves giving up life’s creature comforts and being uncomfortable for a small amount of time until your situation changes. While my situation involved me being completely and utterly broke for five months the same concept can be applied to paying off debt. What are you willing to sacrifice to be debt free? How hard are you willing to work to meet monthly goals? If you could forgo a vacation this year and instead use that money to completely eliminate some of your debts would you willing to do it?
If you remember one of our April Goals was to pay off a balance on a PayPal Card. While we were well on our way to paying it off this month I had a burning desire to get it paid off quicker so I went through my closet what if anything I could sell. I found clothes with tags, gently loved handbags and a good bit of shoes. The one thing that caught my eye over all of that was a pair of Valentino’s I scored last year for almost 50% off! I then decided that I would offer them up as a sacrifice to my debt and I listed them on various online consignment websites. Within three days they sold, I actually made a profit, and I was able to put that money towards the PayPal balance completely paying it off!
Things may seem hard and you may feel like your situation is never going to change. Trust and believe in yourself and know that you’ll make it work.
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