in denial that i’ve had a shopaholic relapse.
If I had to chose one word to describe my early 20’s, insecure would be it. Graduating college, realizing money doesn’t grow on trees and learning that credit cards need to be paid off (and with interest too!?!) all fueled this feeling. By 23, the insecurity turned into extreme anxiety. How did I deal with this? By binge…eating and shopping. I opened up more credit cards, spent more and lived well above my means.
Running away from your problems is a funny thing. You keep running (in my case spending) and instead of reaching happiness, you are greeted with a null/empty feeling. So you think “well if i have this purse that will make me happy, and if i eat out at this restaurant that will make me feel lavish, and if i buy my friends free tickets to concerts they will like me.” But the fact is, it’s an endless circle of “will make me” this and that.
I paid off the first credit card I ever opened yesterday, $1,300. Never has “spending” money felt so good. But there is doubt and insecurity rooted in the back of my head. Yes, I’m attempting to ignore them but I keep thinking: “OMG I can’t believe I did this, Can I do this? F Yes I can, But can I? Oooohhh Gucci”
In our quest to be financial independent it is VITAL to shut insecurity down. Sounds easier said than done, right? Well not if you shift your mindset. You have to focus on temporary aspects, i.e.: this too shall pass. Do this by keeping an insecurity diary, write down every negative thought and then counteract it with a plan (goal diary). Take a bubble bath, meditate, go for a long run. Do anything that makes you relax (and is FREE!). You are worthy of taking control of your finances. Take one day at a time and soon your insecurity will turn into security!
I’ve recently had an epiphany: People are scared of their debt not necessarily because of how much they owe or the task of paying it off, but because once you finally start the process of becoming debt free, a whole slew of issues surface.
In other words, the path to becoming debt free is the same path one takes to self actualization.
For example, it has taken me over THREE years to finally sit myself down and really analyze my way of living/lifestyle. It’s taken me over three years to really sit down and say “okay, i’m in debt and that’s okay but I have to change.” Let’s get real, everyone hates change! Being comfortable and lazy is soooo much easier. it wasn’t until I really sat and looked at my credit cards, checked out my APRs (let’s get real, found out what an APR is) and thought “holy S#$T, I could be buying a purse with all this interest” that it really dawned on me…
That AHA! Moment happened in October 2015. Since then, lots of issues and bad habits have surfaced. They have included: being registered to every and any of my favorite store websites for sale notifications; realizing i am addicted to eating out/ordering in; being victim of a nasty cycle of: paying off a card –> going on a shopping spree –> getting overwhelmed –> shopping some more –> overeating –> hiding from my cards –> getting control…and repeat; caring too much about what others think; doing what others want vs. what i want.
You get it, things that you wanted to hide from surface when you are really asking yourself “why am i in debt?” Which is the first step in becoming debt free. It’s a scary question that brings out your faults (eek!). But guess what?! These faults can be turned around and changed into strengths. Something you CAN take control of. Take a deep breathe and realize you are not alone. There is NOTHING to be ashamed about. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You are one step closer to a debt free life and therefore self actualization!
update on the major life decision of “do i really need this bag”
i opted against buying the bag! i haven’t felt this successful since i graduated college…SIX YEARS AGO! woohoo, adulting, ftw!
sidenote: i’m typing this while i eat a $13 salad…you win some, you lose some? debt diet? TGIF!