You’ve finally made up your mind to start your journey toward financial wellness. You’ve taken ten minutes to create your budget using the EveryDollar App. You’re well on your way to building your initial emergency fund. You’re ready. And then comes the pressure.
This past weekend I came across a post on Facebook. The post was made by a male who announced that he was getting back in the dating scene (apparently, he was recently divorced). To make a long story short, he and his date were at the shopping mall. She indicated that she needed to purchase a pair of shoes and proceeded to enter Payless shoe store. He was appalled that she expected him to accompany her into what he obviously considered to be a store “beneath” his brand. After all, he posted, he was used to buying Christian Louboutin brand shoes. He then lamented that he knew right then that the relationship was not going to work. And then he had the audacity to ask his Facebook audience if he was wrong.
I’m telling you, I can’t make this stuff up! First, I applaud the woman for knowing her limits, not succumbing to pressure, and for remaining true to herself and her budget. Secondly, I’m disheartened that this man possibly made her feel ashamed of her choice. What would have been more shameful is if the woman tried to be impressive by purchasing outside of her budget. Everyone cannot afford designer shoes. And sadly, many people who wear them are still paying for them long after they’ve worn out. Can we say, “credit card?”
This is my point. When you are working your plan to become debt free and financially healthy, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. You may have to give up a few nights out with friends, a vacation or two, and perhaps decrease your shopping sprees. You may have to make substitutions, such as Payless shoes instead of Steve Madden or Gianni Bini. Honestly, no one cares about the brand of shoes you’re wearing. Don’t allow peer pressure to get you off track. Your friends mean well when they invite you to happy hour or to accompany them on that fabulous vacation. But you must know your limits. There is no shame in getting your financial house in order.
If you are truly serious about getting your money right, you must stand your ground. Do not yield to the pressure or ridicule of others. Maintain your momentum by politely declining offers that tempt to get you off track. Keep in mind that your journey is only temporary. If you keep moving forward, you will be in a good financial space before you know it. Stay in control of the situation. Hebrews 12:11(NIV) states, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Those who lack self-control and discipline go hard with their spending without regard for the damage they’re doing to their financial future. They’re having fun and what seems “pleasant at the time” eventually becomes painful in the form of debt. But, if you exercise discipline and stick with your plan, you will soon reap the harvest of peace that comes with being debt free. Imagine the wonderful things you will be able to do when you no longer have debt payments. Stand your ground and reap your harvest.