It is amazing to think of how little I used to know about saving money. My idea of saving money was to buy one trendy T-shirt from the local department store instead of two.
I bought clothes that I never wore and ate out often enough for the local pizza place to know my address by heart. In other words, I was out of control in my spending and proud of it.
This was around the time that I was in college and just starting to get my feet wet on how to financially survive in life. Despite a little bit of economic know-how that I had picked up through high school, I was still hopelessly ignorant of how to manage money.
I would accumulate credit card debt like some people accumulate dust on their furniture.
I wish I could say that I graduated with college with a profound sense of knowledge of how to handle money. The truth is I was just getting started with my debt nightmare. I continued the bad habit of putting everything on credit and acting like the bill would never come. Treating credit like candy was the norm for me. It was also around this time that I acquired my first home and, of course, it needed multiple repairs and furniture. This meant going into even more debt, since I didn’t have the money.
One day when I was bored, I began reading finance articles on the internet that profiled people who had lost everything to obsessive and mindless spending. The stories were harrowing to say the least. Some people had completely ruined everything just to be able to impress strangers around them. I began realizing that this could be my future if I continued on this path. I started to make a plan of action and put a halt to the bleeding of cash. I began working extra jobs and created new streams of income. In about seven months’ time, I had paid off more than $5,000 in credit card debt and I have never looked back. Being credit card debt free is wonderful!
I have tried to adopt a more frugal lifestyle since then. Purchases are now carefully planned in advance and if I don’t have the money, then I simply don’t buy it. Lusting over new trinkets and electronics is now just a waste of time. I also sleep better at night knowing that I don’t have that awful weight above my head. I still have student loan debt, but I am actively working to pay it off. Being more conscious about money is how I’ve decided to live my life, as it sure beats the alternative. I have made a commitment to finally be responsible with money, and I now look forward to budgeting in my life.