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Several years ago, faced with the possibility of losing my home and filing bankruptcy, I had a financial awakening.
Lucky for me, I had it in the nick of time. Without that kick in the pants, that slap in the face, I would never have changed my ways.
The ways in which I changed were numerous — so numerous I could never include them all in this one article. But I did change in one very significant way that I want to share with you.
Simple Lifestyle Changes That Will Have You Winning the Debt Battle
I changed my lifestyle.
Was it difficult? Oh gosh, was it ever. But it was necessary if I was going to pull myself out of the financial disaster I had created.
When you live a life where you buy whatever you want, whenever you want it, it’s pretty difficult to just turn that aspect of your life off and stop shopping.
Most of the people I help with this issue are really unsure what to do first.They’re almost paralyzed, confused as to how to change their circumstances.
When they ask me what needs to be done, we have a heart-to-heart about what needs to change in their lifestyle.
I can always tell the people who are really ready – the super serious people who are more than ok with changing their ways and the one who can’t yet make the commitment.
Some wish they could change, others want to change, but only the committed will be successful.
Here are five tips to help you make those lifestyle changes so you can stop overspending, and start paving the way to a new financial future.
1. Track Your Spending
Most people hate to track their spending. But you need to see where your money goes so you can make changes on how to spend. The only effective way to accomplish this is to track your spending. You don’t need to be super fancy about it. A simple notebook will do, or you can use my “done for you” downloadable tracking sheet.
2. Get Rid of Your Credit Cards
If you are committed to changing your lifestyle, you must be willing to get rid of the credit cards. I don’t care if you earn points or you feel they give you something of benefit. The cold hard fact is they are costing you way more than you think.
You’ll never get out of debt if you keep them around. I tried that once, actually more than once, and failed miserably.
Someday, not anytime soon, but someday you may have mastered the art of self-control and may be able to have a credit card again. But it sometimes takes years to get to that point, if ever. It took me over 10 years before I felt I could handle a credit card.
3. Stop Shopping
Stop shopping. I really shouldn’t have to say much more than this, but I will. Unless you can kick your shopping habit to the curb, you’ll have a really hard time getting out of debt, staying out of debt and changing your financial circumstances.
You can’t shop your way to happy so stop trying and start becoming content with what you do have.
If you need some help with this, my Money Mindset Challenge might really help you.
4. Pay Cash
Use cash to make purchases for gas, food, toiletries, prescriptions and the like. Paying cash will give you the opportunity to really think about your purchases in ways you haven’t had to up till now. Your emotions and your wallet will be connected for the first time, and as a result, you’ll see your spending in a different light.
5. Be Kind To Yourself
This journey isn’t a straight line. It has it ups and downs and u-turns too. Don’t be hard on yourself when you revert to old habits. Be kind with your words and just pick up where you left off and start again.
Changing your lifestyle isn’t as easy as changing your hairstyle, but armed with the right tools it can be done.
Getting emotionally connected to your money and making the commitment to yourself is a huge step in making the lifestyle changes needed to get out of debt and into financial freedom.