A month ago I wrote a post titled The Sacrifice of Eliminating Debt. In it I detailed some of the sacrifice you need to make in order to blast away your debt.
I’ve been thinking a lot about it recently; especially in regards how it can effect the relationships you have with your family, your friends, and your co-workers.
Getting out of debt is a tough process, there is no other way to put it. But you can’t shut out the rest of your world while you reduce the strangle hold. I’ve done it and I’m realizing that I’m missing out out on life.
Yes, you still need to make sacrifices to reach your goals, but what good is reaching the goal if you have nobody to celebrate with?
These are two statements I made in my earlier post. I still believe they are true, but are in need of some further considerations.
Family: There will certainly be some sacrifice in terms of your family. Does your spouse have to go back to work to make extra money to eliminate the debt? Is a second job in your future? Are you ready to miss a family events because you have to work to supplement your debt elimination plan? These are some VERY important questions to think about when starting the process.
Friends: Can you say “no” to going out with friends? There are many ways to continue your friendships that don’t involve money. Keep up with friends on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, E-mail, Text messages, Phone calls. Let all your friends know about your new mission and I bet some are in the same position. Talking with friends about money and the battles you face is a great way to get support for you efforts.
Eliminating debt really does take a lot of time away from your family (assuming you are working extra to pay it down). Being away puts stress on your spouse, kids, and even your pets. It also puts a lot of stress on the person working the long hours; fatigue, remorse, sadness are just some of the stresses.
These are a few ways to make time to build my relationships with your family.
- Schedule time with your spouse. Block out time to watch your favorite show together, DVRs make this easy. Have the Grandparents watch the kids every other week for a few hours so you can have “date night”. Call your spouse everyday to say “I love you.” Eat dinner together as much a possible and talk about life, NOT WORK. Talk about your dreams together as you settle into bed together. Hug each other as much as possible.
- Schedule time with your kids. Set up a schedule with each child. Take the time to go for a walk with them. Play with legos or dolls with them. Read to them as much as possible. Give all the hugs and kisses you can. Take pictures together. Take them to the mall and just walk around. Attend their sporting events. Text them just to say “Hi”. Having little kids; I love to give them a bath, and to color with them.
- Keep up with the Extended Family. Call your Mom and Dad just to say “Hi.” You can do this on your way home from work (using a hands free device of course.) Invite them over to watch the Grand kids (the 2 birds 1 stone method.) Send them the pictures you’ve taken with the kids. Do your best to attend the family events. Call the rest of the family and make sure to get the scoop and everything.
Friends and Co-workers
- Engage People. Talk with your friends and co-workers. Ask about their families. Ask about how their weekends was. Look at the family pictures they are dying to show you.
- Volunteer. Volunteering can be a very fun way to get involved, and doesn’t have to take a lot of time. The holiday season is here, signing up to bring a dish to the holiday party is a cheap and simple way to get involved. Participate in any charity fund raising going on at work. I had the pleasure to be a guest cook to help our Breast Cancer fundraiser. Look at the picture, sure looks fun to me. It took an hour out of my day, but I raised $100 in tips for Breast Cancer. We are also doing a Toys For Tots drive at work. I save up all my bottles and donate them. The money is used to buy some very nice toys for the kids. We raised over $10,000 by doing this. Just look at the amount of toys you can buy…
Keep blasting that debt away!! Just remember you still need to have a life. As I stated earlier, what fun is being debt free if you’ve got nobody to celebrate with.