Wednesday, September 15, 2010
About a week ago I was finding great pleasure in helping a good friend do a budget. She reminded me a lot of my self almost 3 years ago. Confused, frustrated and hopeless. When you are deep in debt a lot of times its not the issue of wanting to get out but its about how to get out. Being in Financial Peace University not only showed me how to get out of debt, but it helped me discover how I got there.
Just like me, my friend makes decent money for a single person. You can live comfortably, buy most things you want, and do most of what you want without breaking the bank. Yet and still you can't pay your bills at the end of the money, and calling for those pay day advance companies to get you to the next week. When I looked at the situation I was thankful it wasn't a lack of money causing her issues, but a bigger problem lied ahead..... the person in the mirror.
We over spend, we give until we can't give any more, and we don't save anything for the future but we are in debt and broke because we haven't dealt with ourselves. When I found myself deeply in debt, I was attempting to be like my friends I saw going on vacation, buying lots of clothes and eating out every day. I thought that was "cool" at 25 I hadn't discovered who I was which caused me to do things that had I known myself I wouldn't have done. I spent money because I was digging my self out of deep depression (so i thought). I hated my job, I hated where I lived, and I was in one relationship after another. I thought buying things would solve my happiness, if not just for a moment. I learned after almost being fired from my job, that filling my life with stuff would not keep me happy. So through out the last few years I have been learning about what I need to be happy. I needed to accept at the time that work is really what you make it, a location is what you make it, and relationships certainly are what you make it.
In my friends situation, I quickly discovered she had a serious problem with boundaries. She was a loving person, but didn't really know how to tell people NO. Stuck in a two bedroom apartment because she couldn't tell her grandma no. Living paycheck to paycheck because her friends have weddings she HAS to attend, grandma wants to eat out EVERY night, adult brothers can't afford college so she foots the bill. She is the classic case of an enabler. Some people have it in their nature to be kind and God bless em but when you just don't have it to give you end up more stressed than you would have been, had you just said no. I love my family to death but I can't give them everything. However I learned quickly that just because I couldn't give them something they still loved me.
So I say all this to say, take a look at your money problems. Are they REALLY a result of not enough money, or is it because you have yet to deal with problems saying no to family, friends, children and spouses. Are you unhappy in a situation and you spend to mask the hurt and frustration? I challenge you to really get to the root of the problem. I can guarantee once you solve the "root" your money problems will work themselves out. Until then, you will chase after finances, and still not solving the REAL problem.
Think about it.