Dig Yourself Out of Debt with a Pitchfork!
By Hannah Keeley
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times–“dig yourself out of debt!” The only problem is that no one tells you what to use! Well, after suffering through debilitating debt, I can tell you that words and advice are never enough. There are plenty of people doling out financial advice today, but I have a feeling they are doing so from a deep, leather chair in a nice, comfortable office, not from a laptop stuck in a playroom with dolls, UNO cards, and Hess trucks strewn all over the floor.
Moms have the unique advantage of managing the majority of the purchases in the home; and if you are going to conquer debt and begin to create wealth, it has to happen with a 4-pronged pitchfork.
This one illustration has helped me save money more than anything else on this earth–more than the financial experts on television and more than the complete guides to saving money in the bookstore. I just keep this one image of a pitchfork in my head, and it becomes so much easier to save money.
Whenever you avoid making a purchase, you are benefitting yourself in four different ways (kind of like four prongs on a pitchfork).
Here’s what they are…
Prong #1: You are helping your finances.
Yeah, this is a no-brainer. Every time you put something back instead of purchasing it and every time you use what you’ve got instead of buying something new, you are helping your money to grow and expand. It may seem obvious, but a lot of people overlook the little things. You may not even think about that cup of coffee or that pack of gum, or maybe that little toy in the checkout aisle or that pair of socks on sale. These things may seem little and inconsequential. But the truth is this: it all matters! Every time you save one dollar, that’s one more dollar that you have in your account. And you can only grow the money that you can hold on to. Avoid the little purchases and consider everything before you whip out the wallet. It. all. counts.
Prong #2: You are helping your earth.
The number one way to help the earth is not to recycle or build a compost bin, although those are wonderful things to do. The best way to help the earth is to QUIT BUYING SO MUCH STUFF! Our over consumption is doing more to hurt the earth than all the oil spills combined. Think about it for a minute. Every time you avoid making a purchase, you are adding less packaging to landfills. You are also providing less financial support for factories that are producing mass products (less pollution). Now I know there are exceptions to this rule, such as when you are purchasing items for a cause. But, for the most part, the majority of our purchases end up hurting the earth a lot more than helping it.
Prong #3: You are helping your health.
This is another one that requires some consideration on your part. We live in a day and time when the majority of the population is overweight. Heart disease is the number one killer. Over half of Americans are on medication for stress. You can pretty much trace it all back to buying too much stuff. Too much processed food. Too much entertainment to cause us to sit on our bee-hinds. Too much outsourcing our work instead of getting out there and doing it ourselves. Too much stuff that causes us to work even harder to earn even more money to create an even higher level of stress. Every time you avoid making that purchase, you can probably connect the dots to how it is helping you live a healthier life.
Prong #4: You are helping your spirit.
I hear from so many moms who are suffering from discouragement and despair because of their financial situations. You may think that buying that new outfit will make you feel better, but denial hurts. And it always comes back to bite you in the fanny in the end. The best way to feel better in your spirit, to feel encouraged and excited about your finances, is to get your spending in control. Avoid the purchase and you will feel empowered. Remember, this is your life to create. It is your money to spend or to grow. Get out that pitchfork and start digging your way to success!
Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!