This undertaking – committing to rapid debt reduction and writing about it – has given me lots of opportunity for reflection. To look back at how I got here and what has influenced me along the way. Each time I sit down to write a new post it becomes a rare opportunity to do nothing but reflect and think.
And with Thanksgiving just a few days away in the United States – what better time of year to reflect on the journey here and say thank you. A small recognition of influence for people who have already achieved the success I’m working towards.
For years – literally, years – I’ve followed blogs and websites, eating up every word and with each new post saying to myself ‘I’m gonna do it, too! Yeah!’ – only to log off, let negative self-talk creep in, default on what was comfortable, and live my life deep in debt.
It’s easy to make excuses, to look at writers and think to yourself ‘My situation is different.’To look around you and think ‘Nah – this is normal, I guess.’ as others drive new cars every few years, go shopping on the regular and eat out every day at lunch. Generally just going about their lives without any clue there’s any urgency to their financial situations.
I was one of those people for the entirety of my 20s. I was a prisoner of my debt, making excuses and refusing to believe that my financial situation was an emergency. After all – I was making great money! And could afford to go out! And to buy new things! And…(the list goes on).
But debt is an emergency.
Debt is a barrier to your ability to choose how your money works for you, for your family, and for your financial goals. Tweet.
The hardest part about all of this has been getting started.
Last week I was able to put nearly 77% of my monthly take home pay towards paying off my debts. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help, guidance and motivation of other inspirational individuals who have come before me.
Thanks, Financial Role Models!
- Cait Flanders (formerly BlondeOnABudget)
- Cait is far and away my strongest inspiration. She paid of $75,000 of debt and then went on a 2-year shopping ban. She is an excellent writer and her essays on consumption, mindfulness and money are compelling and motivational. She showed me that commitment to a large goal doesn’t have to be a struggle, and for that I’m thankful.
- Mr. Money Mustache
- MMM writes on the topic of financial independence with clarity and conviction. He posts at a slower pace these days, but the archives are full of articles ready to be devoured (and you will devour them!). His site also hosts a great forum, which is wonderful for interacting with others on their own financial journey to ‘badassity.’ I’m grateful for the community he’s built to show me I’m not alone and that living in debt is not the ‘new normal.’
- The Financial Diet
- This site is a daily read for me. They posts some of the most thoughtful essays from women on everything from finance, money, conscious consumerism, career advice, self-care and more. I love that there’s a space on the web that’s female-focused and am thankful they are adding their voices to the conversation. If you’re looking for depth and nuance, this is a site to check out.
- Millennial Money Man
- Another fun and energetic read, this site focuses on offering advice specifically to Millennials, although a lot of the advice he expounds is relevant to folks of all generations. The author was a teacher who paid of $40,000 in student loan debt – then he quit his job. Like Mr. Money Mustache – his writing style will light a fire in your belly and I’m thankful there are voices on the internet that carry the same urgency that being buried in debt deserve.
In the comments: Who are you saying ‘Thanks!’ to this week – money role models or otherwise?