Baby Step Zero
There is one step though that I don't think gets enough coverage. I refer to it as Baby Step Zero and, honestly, I think it is the most important step in the entire process. Let's talk about it.
Before you can ever start the baby steps, you have to face the person in the mirror, hook arms with your spouse, and draw a line in the sand. If you're going to make a change this big, and trust me it is a huge change when you've been living normally for years, then the most important part of it is to never look back.
You can never, ever borrow money again. You have to cut up your credit cards. You have to learn to hate debt with such a passion that it never becomes an option for you again.
You can never again rely on a credit card to get you out of an emergency situation. You can never fall back on taking out a line of credit at the bank to do something you want to do but can't afford.
You will make a budget before the month, every month, for the rest of your life. You'll never live without a plan again.
You have to learn to live in the in-between - where you aren't where you want to be but you can't go back to where you were.
You have to flex those patience muscles like you have never done before because you'll have to learn to save up for the things you want to buy instead of just going out and buying it whenever you want.
You have to grit your teeth and learn how to say no. And you have to learn that no is a complete sentence.
Your attitude towards debt has to change entirely. You have to get pissed off at it and have one of those "I've HAD IT" moments.
You must conquer this baby step before you start on this journey. You could not only not see any results, but they could be disastrous.
In the midst of putting the final touches on my personal financial coaching program this week, there were so many times I felt the absence of my business credit card, which has been a stop-gap for me over the last few years. So many times I would float expenses on there until I made it up with income, but it never worked. Either the income didn't happen or I lost interest in the project or something else just came up. Those floated expenses added up to over $5,500 in credit card debt. I will never, ever go back there.
I will find a different way - sell something, work more virtual assistant hours, find a different service provider for now - in order to do this and cash flow it.
Debt is simply no longer an option for me.
No debt of any kind. It is hard as hell - I'm not going to lie. But the work to get out of debt has been harder and has left way more of a scar on me than a little extra hard work will.
You absolutely must square up to Baby Step Zero, stomp it in the face, and never look back.
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