I Want to Sleep Better at Night - Surviving Financial Rut | Live a Brighter Life

On Debts

No, this is not a "how to" post about getting better sleep at night specially for insomniacs like me who tend to stay up later than most moms my age. I really wish it's that simple. I have decided to come out in the open and write about my financial adventures and misadventures with hopes that the young ones will steer clear from the path I took when it comes to making financial decisions.

A few, okay, many years ago, when I started earning my own money and I must say, loads of it, I didn't really think that my future would be as uncertain and as bleak as it is now. This goes for some of the major aspects in my life especially money matters. Looking back, I thought I had the world at my feet. I had plans to travel, live abroad for a few years, live independently. Oh how the wheels have turned.

I have debts to pay, expenses to prioritize and kids to put first now. You see, from where I am in life now, debt doesn't only come in monetary form. I have lost friends along the way, businesses that I thought would take off like a rocket, my pride and all that jazz. You see, financial troubles can eat so much of your brain activity, it is quite a bind to be in.

Wants Versus Needs

So this where the sticky part actually lies. Each one of us, we all have things that we aspire for, making ourselves believe that if we get it, our lives will be complete. And once again, my friends, this is where things will go awry. I have forgotten to differentiate my wants and needs.

It is so simple in reality. No matter how many times we try to justify that they are the same, they are not. Wants - these are the things that we want to possess maybe as status symbol or because it's going to make us look good owning it while needs - are necessary for our daily living. Like food, water, etc.

Slowly, with the help of some financial literacy programs that I have attended, I have become more aware about how our wants and needs can determine our financial future. Had I learned about this early on, I wouldn't be in this sticky mess that I am in. But hey, baby steps, right?

Damage Control 

Though I cannot take back the lost years of financial missteps that I made in life, I still have the present and the future to mend what I have done. You see, the first step to recover is to acknowledge the fact that you have debts to pay, that you have needs that must be prioritized and looking rich or good in front of others isn't everything.

I am slowly recovering from the financial mess I have put myself into. To me, sharing is caring and I know I am not the only one who has gone through or is going through it. Let me share the ways I am trying to repair the past while preparing for the future.

  • Acknowledge debts - first and foremost, what I did is to list down all the debts I owe. I had to admit to myself that these need to be faced and paid. I am overwhelmed by them, yes, but I know that I need to face the music.
  • Old fashioned savings - what is this? I have lots of empty 1L purified water bottles that I use as coin bank. Everyday, whenever I have loose change, I put it on the bottles each labeled with specific purpose. I have a bottle for debt payments, investment funds, travel funds, emergency funds and holiday funds. Some of you might think that it's very archaic of me to use coin banks but sometimes, going back to basic is the key. Don't underestimate the power of loose change because a little can go a long way. 
  • Selling old stuff - I have clothes, shoes, even gadgets and appliances that aren't being used anymore. I have new ones that I bought on impulse but never really used. What I did is I joined buy and sell groups on social media so I can put them up on sale. The sales go directly to my savings account. 
  • Online business - Nowadays, setting up an online store isn't so impossible anymore. What I did is look for reliable suppliers that sells stuff that are going to click. I sell bags, clothes and shoes, premium meats and ice candy. Again, the profits go to my savings. Everything goes to my savings account.  
  • Employment - Of course, having a steady income through a stable job is also the key to being able to save money for the future. So after losing my work-at-home before, I applied for another and now, I have a new job at home that helps sustain our needs and help me save money. 
  • Investment - I had to let go of my misconception that only the rich can invest. The truth is, no matter what your standing in life is, all you need is discipline so you can set aside funds for the future. I invested on mutual funds and I am in the process of getting VUL - variable life insurance for me and my kids. 

A Long Way to Go

I know that I have a long way to go before I can completely pay off the things that I owe. It will take time and effort so I can stick to my 1-year plan of being debt-free. But something has to be done, so what I did is get off my butt and start doing it. It is with immense patience, discipline and a whole lot of hope that I am forging on. One day, I'll be free from debt and will be able to enjoy the fruits of my investment. I hope you will too someday!

Rolled Into One Mom

1 comment:

  1. I attended the Live Brighter Forum this week and learned a lot! I too made a lot of financial blunders when I was younger. Good thing is it is not too late! Kudos to you for taking steps in working out your finances. Like what they say, even a small step counts. All the best, sis!