Fear. There is nothing else like it to keep you from achieving great things.
When you are staring down a mountain of debt or spending Sunday night dreading another week at a job that you hate, the fear can paralyze you. It can make you feel weighted down, which makes it that much more difficult to bust out of a bad situation.
It’s time to break out of fear.
The members of My Total Money Makeover, like everyone else, have their own set of challenges to overcome. But many of them decided to overcome their fears one step at a time. Each time you take one step forward toward your goal, your fear takes one step back. It’s incredibly empowering to conquer your fear. Here is how some of our members did it:
Put it on paper.
I found myself sitting in over $20,000 in credit card debt and about a year from college graduation. I knew that I had a large amount of student loans coming due. I remember the fear of sitting down to do the zero-based budget. I almost didn't do it, but I simply forced myself and I found the trouble areas. What's funny is the second that budget was done, the fear and uncertainty lifted. The budget really is the key to unearthing the problems and eliminating the fear. —Jeffrey in California
Find quick, obvious wins.
It was quite a challenge to sit down and take the first cuts at what we believed were necessities in our life. But once we decided to be adults about it and take a look at what was going on, it became easier. Some things were just blaring obvious. We haven't moved into a cave. We're not collecting twist ties to use as shoestrings. But we are having a lot of fun without a lot of expense.
—Johnston in Ohio
Wake the sleeping giants.
We got married in 2001 and came together with over $200,000 in debt. While our student loans were in deferral, I thought, “One day, we are going to have to wake up these sleeping giants.” That alone made me very fearful.
Over time, we began to feel more in control. I had a lot of fear about bringing the student loans out of deferment and paying the large payments, which are over $800 per month. However, once we did this, there was such freedom and a strange sense of control over the situation. Today we are living gazelle intense and have cut our lifestyle to the bone! But it feels great, and I know one day we will get to live like no one else. —Kim in South Carolina
Accept the challenge.
Our “Oh, no!” moment came when we wrote our debt totals on paper. It was worse than we thought and, frankly, quite frightening! We felt some shame and embarrassment, but mostly anger with ourselves. Anger overcomes fear, and with a budget came hope.
Sure, it was scary at first. We were changing our habits, and sometimes change is uncomfortable. We looked at it as a challenge. We've paid off over $30,000, and the closer we get to being debt-free, the more motivated we are to make it happen faster! —David and Stephanie in Washington
Arm yourself with tools.
Money is emotional. Change is hard. And sometimes we feel like we’re the only ones with money problems. Know this: Thousands are making and living on budgets right now at Dave’s mytotalmoneymakeover.com. The Gazelle Budget and Debt Snowball tools are powerful weapons against fear and guilt, and you’ll find one of the largest, most active online communities of people just like you that are winning with money. Join them.