Great News! Most Debt is Voluntary!

If you’re not where you’d like to be financially, who is there to blame?

The economy? The government? Your boss for not giving you a raise?

None of the above.

The answer is you.

You are the reason why you aren’t where you’d like to be financially.

It’s true, no one cares more about your money than you do but it sure doesn’t look like it!

It’s you who bought more house than you really need or that you can really afford. You decided to sign on the line. You were the one who was okay with the ridiculous amount of money that you’d spend just in interest on your mortgage. You’re the one who was okay with the property taxes, insurance, and unavoidable upgrades.

It’s you who doesn’t want to sell your house now that your kids are out of the house and you don’t need 4 bedrooms for the 2 of you. Hell, you didn’t need 4 bedrooms for the 3 of you but you just had to have the extra room for your office you worked out of twice a year or for when you had relatives visit who haven’t visited you in 10 years by now. But hey, you needed all that extra space but now you don’t know when you can retire.

Sure, it’s not easy to let go of a house which holds so many memories. I get it; it’s where your life happened! But it’s holding you back from making new ones; from enjoying your life more.

Your house might be the reason why you’re still working or why you don’t know when you’ll be able to retire.

No one forced you to buy a brand new car which lost it’s value as soon as you drove it home. You did that to yourself. You didn’t need all the extra features with the “premium” version. It won’t get you home any quicker after work because you’ll be stuck in the same rush hour traffic as everyone else.

What good logic can you really come up with to reason that you need a truck that gets 10 mpg that can tow a boat? You don’t even have a boat…

What good reasoning can you come up with as to why you needed to get a brand new car when a perfectly good used car would work just as well, if not better? Both cars can take you to and from work, the grocery store, on vacation, and everywhere else you’d need to go except one is costing you your freedom from your shitty job because you have those awesome monthly payments you have to make instead of saving hundreds of dollars a month or paying off your student loans quicker. This is how I feel about my biggest financial regret.

Don’t even get me started on when you lease a car…

The average American family has over $7,000 in revolving credit card debt. In other words, they carry over balances of over $7,000 each month. How do you even get such a high balance in the first place?!

No one told you to live beyond your means. No one told you that you need to wear designer clothes….that you need to go out to eat every day for lunch or that you need a new phone every 6 months. I’m sorry but you did that to yourself. You keep on buying shit you don’t really need to impress people that you don’t even know. You’re trying to put on a front while you’re quickly crumbling behind the scenes. It’s not working..the Joneses don’t give a shit about you.

On another note, vacations aren’t something that you “deserve” or that you’ve “earned.” If you didn’t spend your money on dumb shit you wouldn’t even have to work anymore! There is no direct correlation with how much money you spend on a trip with how much fun you’ll have. You aren’t entitled to shit. You can have a pretty sweet vacation without leaving your city; you just have to get creative. After all, most of the best things in life are free.

No one made you take out student loans. Shit, no one even made you go to college. If you didn’t really want to do what your parents said, then you didn’t have to. You rebelled before, why was this time different? You put it into your head that you had to go far, far away to school because so and so school had an awesome program in whatever the hell you thought you were interested in at the time. No one made you live beyond your means after high school. The first 2 years at your local community college while living at home would have been just fine but nope, you had to go to the state university. Was it worth it now that you have a degree but no job?

No one made you spend your bonuses on even more shit that you’ll end up throwing away in a few years anyways. If you saved your bonuses or paid off your debt you might not have to be working still but you didn’t; you spend it on a new t.v. But that’s cool. It just means that you’re okay with working more instead of spending time with your family. It means you value stuff more than your family. In other words, you suck.

You did this to yourself.

But there’s good news; there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

You can get yourself out of this mess but it’ll take some work.

You can change your values. You can change what you do with your money. You can make better decisions. You can stop putting “things” in front of your freedom.

It sucks to have to cut back at first but it also sucks to have to work at a job you hate for the rest of your life.

You can get out of debt.

It won’t be easy, but if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

It’ll take dedication, patience, and discipline but I believe in you.

You’ve made it this far in life.

There’s only one way to go and that’s up.

The only thing that’s keeping you from living the life you want is you.

You can do this.

You just have to start taking the blame for being in this financial mess you find yourself in. After all, you chose this life.

Once you do this, you can get out of the mess and you can even get out of the rat race!

Take the emotion out of your financial decisions. I work at a bank; I’ve seen people do dumb shit with money. You have to start making logical decisions. It’ll help. I promise.

Sell your house and downsize. While you’re at it, move to a new country. Start over or start a new life. You have that option now. You can thank yourself.

Pay off enough of your fancy new car that you can get rid of it and buy a cheap, reliable used car. (You can thank Mr. Money Mustache for the tip!)

Pay off your credit card as aggressively as possible and get rid of credit cards for good if they’re too tempting.

Stop putting stuff in the forefront of your life. Learn to live with less. Learn to be grateful with what you have. Stop yearning for more and more and start living within your means. Either figure out a way to comfortably live with less or work more to support your lifestyle. I hate work just for the sake of working so I’m going with the first option.

Stop thinking you’re entitled to a vacation. You’re not. Either take cheaper vacations or stay at home and use your paid vacation to pay off your debt.

Pay off your student loans as soon as possible. These things really put a damper on your life and your future plans. Suck it up and live with your parents for a year or two. If you can do this, you’ll be in a better place for the rest of your life.

Don’t blow your bonuses on things; start saving them or use it to pay off debt.

Moral of the story, pay off your debts or downsize them as soon as possible and save the difference.

It’s that simple.

You just have to take responsibility and take action.

Now stop reading and get to work.