I Wish it was Love
Someday’s I look at what I owe and it takes my breath away. Not like a lover you are excited to see, more like the archnemisis that wants to crush you.
It can feel so overwhelming when I step back and take it in. When I look at it all in one shot I realize the mountain I have created for myself to climb. However, I can live with that daunting task. I can take on that challenge.
What takes away my breath is that bill that shows up for $500 that I was not expecting. OMG, how will I do it? I’m running out of Peters to pay Paul. I thought I had enough on my irregular income and now I find out I don’t. I went from feeling good that I can make the money stretch to how the hell will I make it stretch.
Suddenly I’m fully aware of my deep breathing, my nostrils taking in as much air as they can. Calm myself. I must not panic.
I will make it work. I always do. I have no idea how, but I will.
Tomorrow brings new hope. Tomorrow the sun will rise and I will tackle this mountain again. I will win. Even if I must remind myself to breathe….
What Part Don’t They Get???
On your journey to get out of debt, the one word you get to say over and over is NO. No to yourself and NO to those you love. No, we can’t afford that movie right now. No, you will need to wear those shoes a little longer. No, you can’t have McDonalds, yes, NOt even off the $1 menu.
We become the “bad guy”. We are the one depriving those we care about the little things they crave so much. Why can’t they just see the vision we do? The life without debt. Don’t they realize how many Chicken Nuggets they can have in the future!!??
I feel bad saying NO. It gets old even to myself. I want to say OH HELL YES!! But where would that put us? Even further in debt or worse.
Besides, it was all those “yes”s in the past that created this monster and these “no”s.
Just this morning my other half and I were discussing how they wanted to spend $20 something we really didn’t need. They couldn’t understand why the $20 was such a big deal. Why? Let’s see… $20 is 1/3 of the waterbill, it pays for milk and cereal for a week, $20 will pay off a bill that much faster. Well you get my point. Money is money.. It has value. It accomplishes goals. There is a reason casinos use poker chips. They don’t want you to see it as money. They want you to be emotionally unattached to your money.
Why must I be the only one that “gets” it?
Is there anyone in your life that just doesn’t get it? Is there someone you have to play the “bad guy” role with?
In 2008 I purchased the business I’ve had for the past 5 years. I was going to be one of the smart ones, I was paying cash. No financing for me. I sold my stock and bought my business. This was the fall of 2008. While sitting in a hotel room at the training for my new found bundle of joy, I watched as the stock market tanked right before my eyes morning, noon and night. I was losing everything. OMG, what did I do? I just left my solid job over over 20 years for this small business opportunity in my town. I left a high paying gig for one that didn’t promise me a penny. (another long story one day).
I have worked hard to not go into debt. However, right off the bat, my franchise expected me to pay for a new machine that was madatory. Boom, dang, guess that $10,000 visa card will have to used since I didn’t have a few thousand to pay that nice tab. A year later, boom, I was required to buy a new register system they required with another few thousand $ price tag. Slowly that credit card was maxed out due to the little “emergency needs” that popped up. Just like in our normal life, Murphey was a calling and I never set up an emergency fund. There were no profits to pull a salary never mind pay for new equipment.
One of my large vendors allowed you to pay a week or two into the future. Slowly that also crept into having 2-3 weeks of debt.
So while I may have orginally purchased debt free, I really didn’t truly stay debt free. My debt monitor shows a debt of $153k. Hmm, lot of debt for a debt free company wouldn’t you say? My “true debt” is probably around $25k but I am including the remaining time on my lease. I owe them no matter what happens (open or close). So until that lease is paid off and I am no longer in business I will owe.
The lesson I’m trying to share is, if you are going to be debt free (which I highly recommend) please, please make sure you have an emergency fund. Things will break, you will be required to buy stuff, crap happens. Just like in real life, our business is the same. So be prepared!
Owning a Business vs Buying a Job
(and a bad paying one at that)
Dave Ramsey is always trying to help new business owners realize there is a differnce between owning a business and buying yourself a job. Unfortunately, I was a little too late for this nugget of wisdom. I bought a 5 year “job” that paid nothing and cost me everything.
Maybe it sounds melodramtic but I don’t mean it too. It is just the truth. My truth. My ultimate stupid tax was buying my business.
Being the optimist that I am, I try and step back and focus on the true lessons the past few years have given me vs feeling the empty pit in my stomach. LOL.
I’m sure I’ll talk about this decision in several posts. I really need to help others realize how dangerous it is to “buy a job” vs owning your business. Working hard to build something that can become very successful is awesome. I plan on doing that with my new business. My new direction. The place I’m using all the knowledge I gained from the previous 5 years.
I have worked pretty much every day the past 5 years and took zero income. Yes you read that right. I lived off the money I worked 25 years to build. Now it is all gone. Lets do the math, it took me 5 years to lose what 25 years took to build. Hmm, that is some bad retirement plan. LOL. Not to mention the no days off part again. I laugh now, but if I think too hard I could cry.
Just chalk it up to another life lesson. One I plan to help others with and one I plan to rebuild stronger, faster and even larger.
The journey of getting out of debt is only partly the financial side of it, the other side of the coin is to take moments to reflect what got you there and how to change your mindset to form new habits and grow stronger. Not to mention to help others.
More on this part of my journey as we move on. For now, just know that if you are planning on buying a small business, slow down turbo and make sure you think this through. I’ll keep sharing my thoughts and what I learned…
More to come…
Hard to Get Going – Yet Once You Do…
Seems like we always dream of what if.
What if I would have started this years ago?
What if I never did that?
What if I just start tomorrow?
Seems like the hardest challenge is getting out of the “what if” stage and starting some momentum. When it comes to debt we only see the piles of bills. We only see the mess we made. We only see we have no energy today and that may tomorrow we can start. So we just go buy some new toy to take our mind off of it and feel better.
And so the cycle continues….
The hard part is gaining the momentum of action. Who gives a flying squirrel about those “what ifs?
(public service announcement ~~ duck when you see a flying squirrel coming)
So what happens when we have momentum? Once we see some progress we need to let it roll!! Yes, don’t stop that ball from rolling, run faster! Work harder. You can do it!
I noticed the past few days I was feeling down about all the “what ifs” I had. The more I thought of the “what ifs” The more bummed I got. Maybe I was asking the wrong “What ifs”? What if (couldn’t help myself) ….what if I should have asked….What if I never started this path of clean up? Wow, then I realized all I had to lose and all I had to gain. That the reason for the snowball approach to attacking our debt is to help show us the power of momentum.
I know this post probably sounds like I’m rambling and maybe I am. I wasn’t sure where I was going with it but I was thinking and typing at the same time.
“What if” I don’t keep moving? … hmm…
“What if” I don’t keep a positive outlook on the future?” … hmmm
“What if” I was completely out of debt? … Ahhhh
Now the smile shows.
Maybe this post is more about the “What ifs”. Maybe I can get the rock to roll over the them?
We Squash it!
Stop Laughing at Me!
As I look at my wonderfully, detailed spreadsheet of debts and ponder the journey I am on, there is one debt that just laughs at me.
Don’t get me wrong, they all laugh at me, but this particular one is having belly laughs and rolling on the floor. Not because it was from some stupid tax. Not even because it has been around so long it is now a pet, as Dave says.
No, this debt laughs at me since it is my lowest debt, but in the big picture it is so minor. It is the left over of a 2nd mortgage of a rental home. It is less than $1000 and has a very low interest rate. It laughs at me because it knows I would love to pay it off. (And probably should), however my nerd in me needs every penny to drive down these credit cards that have such a high rate and I can barely keep ahead of the interest.
Maybe it is good to keep him around to just remind me of how silly I was to take out seconds on all these rental homes. He is the poster child for rental stupidity.
So I laugh at you (HA HA HA) you little baby debt. One day you will be gone, for now you just sit there and mock me. I’m ok with it.
Someday I will kick your butt to the curb!
I’m Positive I Will KICK Debt’s Butt!
Yet, I’m Still Bummed About It All
I’m sure it is normal.
We get so fired up to accomplish a goal and then for a brief moment we stop to look at the hill we still must climb. Then we get bummed. Bummed that we got here in the first place, then bummed that it feels like forever until we get out of it. Deep sigh…..
But dispite my feelings at the moment, I know deep down I will prevail. I just want to have a 60 second pity party for one. Then at one minute and one second I’ll go back to superperson mode and kick some more ass.
So if you don’t mind…
I’m going to go enjoy my last 37 seconds before I must put the cape back on….