November is a month all about gratitude. And while it may sound counterintuitive, one of the biggest breakthroughs I had on my debt payoff journey was when I stopped viewing a budget or paying off my credit cards as a form of punishment and made a conscious effort to find things to be grateful for every single day.
Yes, even on those looooong days when all I wanted to do was order takeout for dinner – I forced myself to find things to be grateful for. And after a few months of regularly finding things to be grateful for, the stress and pressure I felt to pay off my credit card debt started to soften.
The more relaxed I became that I was on a debt payoff journey, the less my debt felt like a punishment, and it became a lot easier to focus on the light at the end of the debt tunnel.
Can Gratitude Benefit Your Debt Payoff Journey?
What would you do if you woke up and your credit card debt was gone?
It’s a question DebtWave’s certified credit counselor Pat Gombes asks consumers struggling with credit card debt when they contact DebtWave for a complimentary budget analysis.
Where would you go? What would you do if the debt was gone and you were financially set?
I’ve been thinking about this question a lot recently as I find myself in a familiar predicament: Do I set aside money for my long-term goals and short-term goals like having a family, remodeling bathrooms, landscaping projects, and retirement, or do I embrace the YOLO lifestyle and splurge this Holiday Season on gifts, takeout, and matching pajamas for the entire family?
The first scenario is the responsible thing to do. It’s what I should do and what part of me wants to do. But the emotional spender in me, the one who has been on a tight budget the last few years while I paid off debt, really misses decorating for the holidays, plants, crystals, new clothes, new shoes, and giving gifts to loved ones.
And that’s when it dawned on me that my debt payoff journey is not really over even though the credit card debt, monetarily speaking, is gone. I’m still clarifying what wealth means to me and what it looks like and feels like to be financially successful and financially prepared as I consciously let go of my scarcity mindset.
I also noticed that because I got out of the habit of regularly making gratitude lists, the emotional spender in me has started to confuse wants and needs.
As luck would have it, there are others in the personal finance space also working on their money mindset after a debt payoff journey. And what’s so great about having a community to bounce ideas around with is that it helps you see even more just how personal finance is when it comes to what you want to spend, save and invest in.
For example, recently, someone posed a question on Twitter: What does wealth look like to you? And what did it mean to you as a kid if someone was wealthy?
These are some of the answers personal finance twitter supplied:
- Having a washer and dryer in your home
- Realizing The Cheesecake Factory and Red Lobster are not fine dining
- Not having to belabor over price tags
- Refrigerator with ice and water dispenser
- Getting a ride to school from your parents and not having to take the bus
- Heated Floors
- In-ground Swimming Pool
- More than one bathroom
- More than one TV
- Kitchen Island
- Vacations & Road Trips
What does wealth mean to you? And what is something you’re grateful for this November?
Share with us in the comments below.