Discipline Your Way Out Of Debt

by Ryan Yates

Discipline isn’t just for the kids anymore. Yes I know, it’s called “time-out” now. Parents and adults across the country are watching their money more closely than ever. The economic downturn is the main reason people are grocery shopping, paying cash for purchases, and canceling the cable subscription. People have learned that it takes self-discipline; to control money, to live on a budget, to live on less than they earn. You must have self-discipline to get out of debt

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments -Jim Rohn

No Slacker’s Allowed

Getting out of debt is not a simple task. Clicking your heels 3 times while shouting, “There’s no place like debt freedom, there’s no place like debt freedom, there’s no place like debt freedom,” doesn’t cut it. Working hard to EARN money is a great way to repay debts. I’m not saying the work needs to back breaking and dangerous. I’m saying people need self-discipline to get to work on time, to show up every single day, to make an impact. A person needs to work any overtime offered, and demonstrate to the boss that they can make things happen without supervision. A satisfied boss is much more likely to offer extra hours to a hard working employee as opposed to a slacker. Position yourself as the “go-to” person a boss can rely on. It’s not sucking up, it’s providing for your family in a time of need.

On the 8th Day God Created The Budget

After using the 7th day to shop and spend WAY too much money, God decided to create “The Budget.” God worked his plan for the first 6 days with great success, but without a written plan for Sunday he was lost. God figured he “deserved” the time off and “deserved” to purchase a large apple tree from the nursery with his Discover Card. God, of all people didn’t have a plan for spending his money. After returning home from the nursery, a feeling of buyer’s remorse came over God. It was in that pivotal moment that God came up with a brilliant idea, he decided to create a Budget. Using a budget would allow him to understand the money coming into his house (the house of the Lord), and the money he was spending (usually helping others). It was on this 8th day that the 11th commandment was drafted. “Thou shall use a budget”, on paper on purpose at the beginning of the month. God realized the need to have enough self-discipline to monitor his money; even he knew money didn’t grow on trees. If a budget is good enough for God then it’s good enough for us.

Disciplined Budgeting Will Prevent Overspending

We now know that God was the first person to create and use a budget, but how can a budget help the average person? Using a budget is not easy, it requires work. It requires a family to be disciplined enough to only use the allotted amount of money allocated for each category. If the budget has $100 per week allowed for groceries, then $100 is the maximum amount of money that can be spent on groceries. Many people will laugh at that amount and say you can’t eat for a week on $100, but with self-discipline you can. Here are two tips to make $100 feed the family for a week.

  • Write a meal plan every week. Have a family meeting for 10 minutes on the weekend to decide what the meal plan should be for the week. Plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks and make a shopping list. The Nerd of the family can come prepared with suggestions for meals, but the family MUST have the final say.
  • Use coupons and sales to purchase the groceries. Buy the Sunday paper and clip the coupons you need. Read the weekly ad papers from all the local grocery stores. Match the coupons to the sales and you’ll save a ton on the weekly grocery bill.

Just Say “NO”

Saying no to fun things in life is hard. It takes enormous amounts of discipline not to attend the ritual Friday after work activities. If hanging out with co-workers is not in the budget, then you need the enough discipline to say no. You don’t need to bust a budget just to feel included. If this example is important, include a small amount of money in the budget to cover the expense of the ritual and only attend once per month.

Self-Discipline Will Keep You Out Of Debt

For anyone with a strong desire to get out of debt, develop strong self-discipline and the debt will just melt away. Always go the extra mile at work, take care of the boss and the boss will take care of you. Once a budget is in place, be disciplined enough to stick to it. Having a budget means nothing if it’s not followed. Plan on reviewing the budget every other day to insure any budget busters are avoided. Using a weekly meal plan will help avoid having eat out which is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make while living on a tight budget. Getting out of debt is hard work, without using a disciplined approach it will be next to impossible to destroy debt.

“Discipline is the instant willingness and obedience to all orders, respect for authority, self reliance and teamwork. The ability to do the right thing even when no one is watching or suffer the consequences of guilt which produces pain in our bodies, through pain comes discipline.” –United States Marine Corps

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black March 30, 2010 at

“On the 8th Day God created the budget” — HA! Too funny. It’s that pesky Free Will, as I like to say. If we weren’t so “free” to spend our money, we wouldn’t get ourselves in trouble with debt! (and need that 11th commandment to help us get out!) Ha! Now I’m laughing again.

Hard work. Gee, what a concept. 🙂

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Jeffrey Kosola March 30, 2010 at

It still boogles my mind how many people think hard work isn’t necessary to get ahead. People will work harder to find a way around work, instead of just doing the work. I’m glad I made you laugh. Who better to hold us accountable than the creator of the Budget?

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Financial Samurai March 31, 2010 at

It’s always easier just to whine Jeff! Waaaah! 🙂

I have a budget too…… which gives me an outline of what to spend and when. Everybody needs at least a budget outline!
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Wealth Is An Illusion Of Happiness =-.

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Jeffrey Kosola March 31, 2010 at

@Shogun Everytime I read the word Whine I think of Amy Whine-House and get an imagine of her all whacked out. Gross!! It’s great to hear that you use a budget. I completely agree with a budget being an outline. Once I become debt free I will use it to guide my spending. For now, it will continue to be VERY rigid.

My wife and I were talking about “Wealth Is An Illusion Of Happiness” last night at dinner. We both agree. It was the illusion of happiness that help to drive us into debt. We were always chasing the next “thing” that would make us happy. In the end, we’re more happy now than ever. Being broke and working hard to become “unbroke” (I don’t want to use rich as a term), makes a people completely rethink what’s important in life. At least it has for us. It’s a life lesson we’ll never forget.

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Mr Credit Card March 30, 2010 at

well said..To lose weight we need discipline to exercise. Yet infomercials are full of “lose weight quick” programs. The internet is full of make money quick and easy BS. Consumerism is full of BS 0% financing as well…

Nothing is easy. Anything that is worth fighting for requires hard work and discipline.
.-= Mr Credit Card´s last blog ..Airlines And Credit Cards =-.

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Jeffrey Kosola March 31, 2010 at

“Nothing is easy. Anything that is worth fighting for requires hard work and discipline.” How true. I just get sick and tired of seeing all the get rich quick schemes and how much money theses dude make. It is amazing to me how people buy into it, always looking for the easy way out.

What ever happened to Richard Simons? Now that guy knew how to show people how to lose weight, Deal-A-Meal anyone??

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MFO March 30, 2010 at

Very good post, something I think a lot of people can appreciate.

As far as hanging out after work with coworkers is concerned (happy hour perhaps), there is a really easy solution. Just buy coke! I have been doing this for sometime. Instead of always getting a few drinks, I just order a coke or two. A great way to save, and you still get to catch up with your coworkers!
.-= MFO´s last blog ..Tax Savings, Part 1 of 4: Why You NEED to Contribute to Your 401(k) =-.

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Jeffrey Kosola March 31, 2010 at

MFO,

I completely forgot about the “Coke” thanks for pointing that out. I haven’t attended any activities after work in quite awhile, I deliver on the nights people choose to get together.

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MFO March 31, 2010 at

The coke idea is a good one I must say. Last week we went out for happy hour, My bill was about $5 with tip. Everybody else paid between $20 and $80 (it was a long happy hour)
.-= MFO´s last blog ..Tax Savings, Part 1 of 4: Why You NEED to Contribute to Your 401(k) =-.

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LeanLifeCoach March 30, 2010 at

It really is about a lifestyle choice, isn’t it?

Nice job Jeff, I think this is message a lot of people need to hear!
.-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Financial Intervention With Aging Parents =-.

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Jeffrey Kosola March 31, 2010 at

Hey Coach,

Lifestyle choice is the perfect phrase, sounds like the start of another post 🙂 My mind is spinning with bullet points about it now, thanks.

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Ryan @ Planting Dollars April 15, 2010 at

God did spend a little too much… that’s probably why everyone is making sacrifices for him/her!!!
.-= Ryan @ Planting Dollars´s last blog ..Three of the Best Blog Posts You’ll Ever Read =-.

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Alexis April 20, 2010 at

I enjoyed your story! Thank you for sharing. I think the title speaks for itself & is the basis of getting out of debt….DISCIPLINE!

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MarkSpizer May 3, 2010 at

great post as usual!

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