Number 9 – Give Up Hobbies
I love to play golf. If I had the time, and the money, I would play everyday. But, while getting out of debt, I quit playing golf. For a year, my clubs sat in a closet, gathering dust. Sure, my game suffered, but I had to stop playing, and stop spending money, and focus on debt reduction.
Take a look at your life. Do you have some expense – some unnecessary expense – that is eating away at your financial progress? If so, get rid of it.
After getting out of debt, I started playing again. I play two or three times a month, and it feels great to be back on the course. You can always go back to your hobby – just wait until AFTER you get out of debt and have a increased your emergency savings.
In almost every case, when I take a look at some one’s budget, I can find at least one category that should be reduced – entertainment. People love their books, DVDs, movies, bowling, golf outings, collecting, hunting, etc. And, almost as universal, when I suggest decreasing that particular budget category, people will resist. Why?
It’s natural to feel entitled, especially after a long week of working hard, to reward ourselves. I had to learn to say NO – to myself, and to my buddies when they asked me to play. By the way, never underestimate the role that peer / social pressure plays in determining how we spend our money. It’s amazing how quickly some people can be convinced, by their friends, to make certain purchases or do certain things. Make up your mind, make the sacrifice now, and in the near future, you can really enjoy your hobby, when you can actually afford it.
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