So I think I've told enough people about my get out of debt strategy because the pressure to follow through is certainly there. Why create a blog for this? Because I think my desire to get out of debt goes a lot deeper than having fewer expenses every month; and I'm hoping this blog, the process of writing about it, and any feedback or comments, will help me find out exactly what it is that I'm after. So please, follow along and feel free to comment on the topics. There is going to be more here than just tipping the scales of assets and liabilities.
It all started when I decided to buy a new car. The idea to get a fun, new jeep really got me going for a few days. I was doing the research and planning out the financing part. Embarrassingly, I even imagined myself in the jeep and how cool it would be to drive down the road with the wind in my hair. I woke up one morning and it was very clear that a new jeep would not help me in my overall goal. What is that goal? Freedom! Independence! The chance to do something I'm passionate about...every single day! School loan debt, credit card debt, car loans...it's all part of the normal American's life. I believe, however, the lifestyle we've come to believe as normal and necessary is simply a prison in many ways. I'm not saying that going to school, and taking out loans to do so, is a bad thing. I agree, there are different types of debt -- and not all of it is bad. But I go to work to pay for things. My money isn't creating anything transcendent, or eternally worthwhile...and something has got to change.
I think a lot of people would consider me a minimalist; but I live pretty much paycheck to paycheck...and there's no freedom to it. I'm a slave to my material possessions.
My goal here is not to sacrifice or suffer for some pious recognition, nor to unncessarily do without. My goal is be 100% aware of the decisions I make, and be mindful of whether or not those decisions are bringing me life or taking it from me. This is not always obvious. I just don't want my legacy to be that of the common American consumer. I want to break the mold.
Tonight I'm creating a chain...out of paper. It will be used to count down 12 months...which is what I think I'll need to be 100% debt free. I know, I sound like I'm 12 years old and I'm waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney. But, hopefully, the chain will help to keep me focused on the goal and to see the the light at the end of the tunnel. Through this process, however, I plan to do more than pay off some debt. I want to engage in some behavior modification. Why behavior modification? Because starting pretty much at birth we are subjected to advertising and marketing -- and we have all, to some extent, bought into the lie that we are incomplete without this or that new thing. I am going to be doing an inventory of the things I have, the things I think I want, and the things I plan to strive for in the future. I am a free spirit through and through, but this will require that I be proactive on some things. Some behavior needs to be modified. Some habits need to be broken.
Will you take this journey with me?