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Just like Holmes needed Watson, Han Solo needed Chewbacca, and Hall needed Oates, you need certain people in your life to encourage you when you’re getting out of debt.
If you’re in the middle of Financial Peace University, some of these people might even be in your FPU small group each week! But while you certainly need cheerleaders, even a critical person can say something that motivates you to take that next step.
So, if you’re looking for a little boost or a healthy dose of accountability, just take a look around. You probably know most, if not all, of the people who are important to your journey out of debt!
1. The Supportive Spouse
Now you may not be married. But if you are, no one can derail your momentum and cause you to lose financial hope quite like a spouse who doesn’t "get it." Two months ago, you were on the wagon with them, slapping down credit cards like you were a gambling maverick in Vegas, eating out every night, and hobnobbing all over town. Now you want to make a budget and cut way back on spending. What happened to you?
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On the other hand, a supportive spouse will stand with you as you both seek to dump debt and build for your future. You’re a team. And as we teach in FPU, winning like a team means you’ll need to set goals and stick to them—together.
Not married? See #3.
Winning like a team means you’ll need to set goals and stick to them—together.
2. The Joneses
You know the Joneses. They have everything—the cars, the private schools, the beach vacations—and everyone wants to keep up with them. But little do you know, the Jones family has more debt problems than Congress. It’s just that, unlike Congress, the Joneses’ debt issues aren’t public.
It can be tempting to want what they have, but remember, no amount of stuff equals contentment or fulfillment. But, whether they realize it or not, the Joneses can offer you one thing: a great example of everything you don’t want to do while you’re getting out of debt.
Trying to get out of debt by going into more debt is like trying to stop a leaky faucet with more water. Pay attention to what the Joneses are doing, then do the exact opposite!
3. The Friend Who Understands
If you’re single, you really need someone you can talk to when you’re getting out of debt. That someone should support and encourage you through the ups and downs you’ll experience. In FPU, we call this your accountability partner.
This person should be willing to call you out when you’ve lost focus. We’re not talking about a Negative Nellie; we’re talking about someone who will speak truth into your life during the good and bad times.
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This person should be willing to call you out when you've lost focus.
4. The Jerk
Not Steve Martin from the 1980s movie. But an actual, real jerk. Who is this jerk? It’s the guy who scoffs when you tell him you don’t use credit cards. It’s the so-called friends who criticize you for not wanting to eat out every other night. It’s the family members who call you cheap and unrealistic for thinking you can make a lifestyle of living debt free.
So why do you need the Jerk in your life? Motivation, that’s why. Use their negativity as fuel to push you even more. Remember, if you’re doing stuff that doesn’t matter, no one will care. It’s only when you get in the game and start making a difference that you’ll begin hearing boos from the opposing team.
5. The Coworker Who "Gets It"
If you work full time, you spend more waking hours in the office than you do at home, so it’s important to have someone there who gets what you’re going through.
This is the guy who is willing to skip the expensive lunches and brown bag with you every day. He won’t judge you when you admit to not being able to pony up another $10 for the fifteenth birthday celebration in the last two months. He might even have been through FPU himself! He’s an important guy to have around, so find someone like him and say hello!
6. Dave Ramsey
You didn’t think we’d forget about him, did you? If you’re reading this article, then it’s probably safe to say Dave has had a lot to do with your desire to get out of debt. He might have even kick-started your journey to financial peace after you heard him on the radio, read one of his books, or attended FPU.
If you’ve never taken FPU, check it out now! As soon as you have your materials, you can get started before your first class even meets. And if you already have a membership, remember that you can come back through the class any time, as many times as you want. You’ll need Dave’s energy and extra motivation to keep you going.
Whether you’re in the middle of FPU or not, be on the lookout for friends, family, coworkers and classmates who share your beliefs about debt. And nurture those relationships, because getting out of debt should never be a solo experience!