Getting over "mental hurdles"
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  1. #1
    Registered User Momto2Boyz's Avatar
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    Question Getting over "mental hurdles"

    I've been thinking alot about the "mental hurdles" I have encountered over the years, lately. And with lots of new members, some just starting their frugal journey, I thought it might be helpful to some of them to post our stories about getting over the mental aspect of debt reduction.

    The stress that comes with mounting bills can be overwelming...trust me when I say that I know that first hand! When Dh and I were at our lowest point in our financial trek, we had bills piling up on the desk, collectors calling constantly, and even some coming to the door. My biggest "mental hurdle" as I've dubbed it, was the feeling that I had completely lost control of my life. I felt the need to hide, keep the blinds closed and every time I saw a tow truck, I had a mini-panic attack, wondering if they were coming for my car!

    I'm not sure exactly what caused my turning point, but at some point, I was able to recognize that much of the stress was coming from my own state of mind regarding the problems. When I recognized the fact that I felt like I had lost control, I was able to get past it and take control of the situation again. We didn't have anymore money coming in, but I was able to get organized, and see just how much we owed and do what I could about the situation, even if it meant only paying a little bit at a time.

    I realized that ignoring the problem wasn't going to make it go away, as I was secretly hoping. So I made phones calls and took control and it helped me get over the mental hurdle of feeling powerless against the bill collectors. I met alot of angry collectors, but I also met alot of people who understood our situation and helped us in any way that they could.

    I am happy to report that we are now debt free with the exception of our mortgage. And I truely believe that if I hadn't gotten over the mental hurdle of feeling helpless in the situation, we never would have gotten out of debt!

    So, I'm curious, if anyone else has had to get over any mental hurdles when it comes to debt reduction. If so, what was your mental hurdle? How did you get over it? And how did it improve your situation?
    Last edited by Momto2Boyz; 04-03-2009 at 09:32 AM.

  2. #2

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    Well, I've got other hurdles, too lately. Isn't it suppose to stop snowing already?????

    Anywho...

    My frugal financial theme is: There will always be another deal. And: Just because it's a good deal, you don't have to stock-up. Oh. And: No!

  3. #3
    Registered User Starlight9803's Avatar
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    The biggest mental hurdle that I encountered was when we first started actively pursuing a frugal lifestyle. We were sort of forced into it by circumstances, and I had an awful time with resentment. I was resentful that I "had" to do all these time-consuming frugal things, that I couldn't go out and buy what I wanted when I wanted to, etc, and threw myself pity parties on a regular basis. When we finally got past our financial crisis point, I realized how childish I had acted. I learned to be thankful for the things I do have, and now I enjoy doing frugal things. I can look back now and realize that it wasn't even that I wanted to go out and spend money on all kinds of things, it was the fact that I didn't have the means to do that. Now, if I do want something, and it is monetarily out of reach, I'm still content. I know that I can save up for the purchase, or make do with some other solution.

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    For me it was a shift in my idea of what I deserve... I used to think that I work hard so I "deserve" nice things, expensive vacations, etc. Now I realize that what I truly deserve is an authentic life and the peace of mid that comes with that.

  6. #5
    Registered User larabelle's Avatar
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    My biggest mental hurdle was getting over an envious attitude which I had toward my siblings who are big spenders and deeply in debt.
    I am the oldest in my family but I do not own a house or go on expensive vacations or buy new clothes/cars or visit the malls. I used to get super envious when my younger siblings would show me there new homes, new cars, new clothes or tell me about their wonderful vacations (cruises etc), huge Christmas giving. They make fun of my frugal ways and my financial goals. They think that I am to extreme in my goal setting.
    It is a little depressing especially since my parents are the same way. However, I had to sit myself down and remind myself that they are over their heads in debt and that I am working toward financial freedom which is a long term goal and will benefit me for the rest of my life.
    Last edited by larabelle; 04-06-2009 at 08:58 AM.
    Blessed and Highly Favored!!!!
    From $78K in debt to debt free and purchased a house and used car with 100% cash...God is sooo Good!!!

    Goals:
    New to me vehicle

  7. #6
    Registered User NewLeaf's Avatar
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    Here is my current hurdle: I am being very frugal. But ea. time I HAVE to spend extra money (school pictures, summer camp, t ball equipment) I feel like I failed. Now, I know things are going to come up and I am still looking for the best way to spend ea. time. I only bought 2 5x7 pictures and we found some used tball stuff from my older son. But I still find myself feeling like I'm not doing as well as I could.

    So, instead of feeling bad I am trying to get past that and just do the best I can. I realize that the frugal way of life is an ongoing journey.

    LOL- I even feel nervous about spending the money we saved for vacation for the vacation!!!!

  8. #7
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    My biggest hurdle wasn't getting out of debt.

    I never really had an issue with paying back the money that I spent. It was never a consideration that I wouln'd pay it back, but more a question of how.

    Once I got caught up and got serious, I had a lot of money to send away. I have NO IDEA what I was doing with that cash before, so once I started to send it to debt, I still never felt deprived. All my needs and wants were still being covered.

    My biggest hurdle is now that I'm out of debt. I have "nothing" to really show for that debt. Sure I've got a truck paid for, and some money in the bank, but I really don't have any high dollar items that I can point too and say this is what I spent the money on.

    Alas, as I mentioned my biggest hurdle now is the shear amount of stuff that I don't have. I rent, so need to save for a downpayment. I have a paltry amount of retirement funds.

    My hurdle now is how far behind I feel in this "game of life". I have savings goals a mile long and it's going to take years to get in a better poistion. But alas, I try to focus on the next few months instead of getting overwhelmed with the greater picture.

  9. #8
    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    My BIGGEST was just CONFRONTING the situation and getting a plan to deal with it.

    I spent my last $12 of $20 I had to my name to buy TMMO and it has been 13 months and I haven't let up or looked back or done anything STUPID!

    Look at us now--the CC is almost gone, the car is down to a few months left, we learned to save and learn not only how not to spend but when we do spend we do it wisely.

    So for me it was just supressing that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and stopping the pretense that what was happening wasn't.

    Thank God I did it and if we can ANYONE and EVERYONE can.
    Last edited by Cricketlegs; 04-09-2009 at 12:25 PM.

  10. #9
    Registered User MyMelody's Avatar
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    I had to get over my impatience: first, towards wanting things immediately (and being reluctant to save up first), and second, regarding how soon I can reasonably expect to pay things off. Both can get me down and make it feel like situations are "impossible."

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    I can relate to every single post so far. I'm still struggling with occasional bouts of envy and more frequent periods of impatience. We're making incredible progress, and its good to remember how young we are, but it sometimes still feels like we're behind on getting things where they need to be. It helps to get perspective (my DH is great at that!), and to remember that we're doing everything we can, and its working!!!

  12. #11
    Registered User Thevail's Avatar
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    I think my biggest hurdle was overcoming "leftover want". A sort of feeling that I should always be buying more clothes, stockpiling food, getting things "while I had the money".

    I grew up really really poor, and my parents had (heck, still have) terrible financial skills.
    In our house the bills were always paid, but never before the "pink" notice arrived.
    We always had food, but it was pretty feast-and-famine a lot of times.. great for two days after pay day, and then mac n' cheese until the next one.
    We got school clothes once a year, and if you grew in between that was just too bad, nothing was EVER budgeted for.

    It took a lot of years for me to realize that having money wasn't "a miraculous occurrence" like a rainbow that just sometimes happened... and sometimes didn't.

    Once I finally realized that it's MY finances, and MY budget, and most importantly MY spending that affects how much money there is available, I realized that I didn't need "more stuff" to get through potential rough patches, what I needed was "more money" and "a better plan".

    I haven't looked back since!

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    My biggest hurdle is probably keeping my eyes on the prize. We were able to pay down our cc debt fairly quickly, but the cars seemed to take FOREVER!

    I had to post our financial goals up on our fridge until those cars were paid off.

    Now, we have house and student loan debt, and that is also going to take forever, especially now that I don't work anymore.

    Also, we live in a 120 year old house that we are remodeling. That eats up a big chunk of our money, but at least we aren't putting anything else on credit!

  14. #13
    Registered User Thevail's Avatar
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    "Also, we live in a 120 year old house that we are remodeling. That eats up a big chunk of our money, but at least we aren't putting anything else on credit! "

    Oh I hear you! Our house isn't quite that old since we're west coast and very few houses here are that old, but 85 years still leaves a lot of nightmare re-modeling...

  15. #14
    Registered User gapeach's Avatar
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    My situation is a little different. We were going to dinner one night with some friends and I looked in my closet to pick out something to wear. I pulled out some things that still had price tags on them from 2 yrs ago. I realized at that point I had too much stuff. I had so much that I couldn't make up my mind what to wear. I knew something had to change. I got our car paid off, credit card paid off and now I won't get anything unless I can pay for it there on the spot. It took alot of work but I finally got to a place where I could work only 2 days a week. We lost some of our "friends" with our lifestyle change but we couldn't be happier. I get odd looks paying with coupons, buying marked down meat/bread, asking the mgr if they can do better on the $ in retail stores, etc. But I wouldn't quit this way of life for anything.

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