Want to become debt free?
Have too much debt and don’t know where to begin? We know how you feel. At our worst, we had $51,000 in credit card debt. We wanted to become debt free, and we did. Here’s how!
1. Adopt the mindset to become debt free
Designer clothes. Grand vacations. Homes in the choicest of neighborhoods. Happy hours that were all longer than an hour. Sound familiar?
Some say it’s the “gay lifestyle.” A while back, a young gay man asked in an FB group, “Why’s it so expensive to be gay?” We know what he’s talking about because we felt the same. Maybe you do, too?
Keeping up with gay money was making us two unhappy homos. We were the gay-cliché of looking fabulous but being fabulously broke – like those shacking up four boys in a two-bedroom apartment in L.A. but driving Beemers and Audis.
Sound familiar? Yeah. Us, too.
One night sitting on the dining room floor of our basement apartment, we said “Enough!” We were depressed and pissed because our debt was keeping us from the life we wanted – the life we pretended we had. We tried to fix it before but the fixing never worked. We couldn’t live that way anymore and knew something had to change.
We had to change. Maybe you want something different, too?
The first step for any change is changing your mind. There’s a big difference between wishing for change, believing you can change and taking action to make a change.
That’s why starting with changing our thinking was key.
2. Have the vision to become debt free
Many of us can’t imagine a life without debt. Whether it’s student loan debt, credit cards or medical bills. Debt is a constant, but it doesn’t have to be.
When we got real about our $51,000 of credit card debt, we had to picture what a debt free life looked like. For example, we were paying $10,000 a year in interest to credit card companies. Stupid, right? We started picturing what we could do with that $10,000 rather than using it to subsidize the privilege of having debt.
It was FUN daydreaming. We talked about taking real vacations, ones that didn’t cause a credit card hangover. We talked about moving out of our basement apartment and buying a condo.
What would your debt free life look like? There’s freedom when you become debt free; you have more money and less stress. Can you visualize being debt free yourself here?
3. Be friendly with the Benjamins
As Macklemore sang in Thrift Shop, “Only got $20 in my pocket, I’m, I’m, I’m hunting. This is f*cking awesome.” You can have a lot of fun when you know where the f*ck your money’s coming from and where it’s going.
Knowing where you are and where you want to be, gives you a roadmap for making it happen. When we chose to become debt free we needed that roadmap, otherwise, Sunday Funday, poppin’ bottles at happy hour and that Amazon addiction would remain the path of least resistance – especially with Visa and Master Card never saying “No.”
Another great thing about the Benjis is that we now spend with a purpose. What brings you true joy, not temporarily happiness? Not a slight buzz from a couple of cocktails-happy?
What makes you smile days or weeks later? Spend your money on that? Create a plan like this to do that.
4. Get ready. Get set. Go!
Where the hell are you financially? If you’ve read this far, you might have an idea. But, as we all know, an idea ain’t worth jack if you do nothing with it. How many times have you thought of a great business idea only to see someone else turn your idea into reality and make bank in the process? It’s happened to us.
Getting real with your money is a great motivator to doing something, and here’s some help.
5. Have the audacity to do it
Think about your last amazing, first date. How did it happen? I’m not talking about logistics. Some of those are too personal to share, except maybe on Grindr or Scruff.
Think back to how it began, though. Who asked who? Which one of you had the courage to ask the other out? After that date, weren’t you happy? (insert mischievous grin)
The same goes for your money. It’s not a marriage. So, take a simple step to become debt free? Your wallet, your husband – future husband – will thank you. Cuz there ain’t nothing sexier than a man with his shit together. And that shit includes your money.