You Choose when you Refuse

Sometimes debt can’t be helped.  Medical emergencies, the loss of a job, natural disasters, poor choices 😉 .  It happens.  Climbing out of debt?  That can happen, too. It’s not always fun, and you likely won’t see success overnight.  However, with perseverance and creativity, you absolutely can choose to work your way to the black.

I’m fully convinced that we all make choices about debt. Want out?  You have to choose to claw your way out!  Choose to change your lifestyle, give up non-necessities, rethink your needs and how you spend your time.  If you have debt and you refuse to change your lifestyle to get out of it, you are in essence choosing debt.

If you refuse to purchase a quality used vehicle, insisting instead on that brand new SUV, you might be choosing debt .

If you refuse to use readily available coupons for items you already purchase, you might be choosing debt.

If you refuse to reduce your pricey cable or cell phone plan, you might be choosing debt.

If you refuse to give up your weekly (three times a week?  four?) dinner out on the town in favor of a simple meal at home, you might be choosing debt.

If you refuse a once-in-a-while supper of beans and rice over your favored grilled steak and potatoes, you might be choosing debt.

If you refuse to bypass Starbucks without your favorite indulgence, you might be choosing debt.

Obviously, none of the above scenarios are a ticket to get out of debt free. Giving up your daily latte isn’t going to get you out of debt today.  But not giving up your daily latte is a choice. A choice that says “My debt is okay.  I’m choosing this and it’s working for me.”

Are you choosing to stay in debt or to climb out?  Are your actions supporting your choice?

Linked to Frugal Friday.

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  1. Great post! Honest and I like it. Some of it, I needed…thanks

  2. You are right, it is a choice. We choose to change our habits or we choose not to. It’s not easy to climb your way out of the red, but great post. We need these reminders every once in awhile.

  3. Although my husband and I are both “savers,” it has been hard to give up our usual “treats” since I quit my job in January, but each month is easier (and more fun). I dare say being thrifty has forced us to work as a team and has brought our family closer. It’s all about small changes… for us that meant more baking and less snack foods, turning off the TV (and why did we have sub-basic cable in the first place?!) and getting creative with meal planning and vacation ideas. We are not always excited about the changes, but they become habit quickly. And there’s nothing better than the feeling when I have met my budget goal and found some great deals!

    • “I dare say being thrifty has forced us to work as a team and has brought our family closer.” LOVE that! Way to take charge of your situation and realize the GOOD in it.

  4. So true, Amy… and it extends to other things in life too! So much is a matter of choice. But I’m not brave enough to tackle one of the biggest instances of this… 🙂

  5. Ah, just what I needed this morning. We’d been clawing our way out for a little while, got close to seeing the light of day, and then got lazy. We choose lazy for a while… but, it’s time to choose to do the work.

  6. Love this post! What a great reminder and so true. It’s a series of daily choices that will get you out of debt. And my husband and I are living proof it can be done! even on one income. The only thing your circumstance can dictate is how long it might take to get out of debt–not IF you can. And boy, Starbucks is such a treat when you only have it once in awhile 🙂 I appreciate so much more now…and need less than I ever realized.

    • “The only thing your circumstance can dictate is how long it might take to get out of debt–not IF you can. ” So true! And YES to the yumminess of an occasional Starbucks. It helps that our nearest Starbucks is an hour away… 😉

  7. Amen, amen! We aren’t finically struggling right now but we never know when money troubles might strike. Making these type of descisons can create enough money for an emergency fund.

  8. Great post. We are choosing to get out of debt right now. We paid off our van last month which was a great feeling! We now just have a medical bill and a student loan to pay off and we will be debt free (except for the house). I can’t wait!!! Sometimes it is hard to stick to it (I haven’t had a vacation in 5 years and it will probably be 2 more before I can have one). But, the end result will be SO worth it!! Right now, we are living like no one else, so that later we can LIVE and GIVE like no one else. Can you tell we’re Dave Ramsey fans? 🙂

    • Congrats on paying the van off and working hard to meet your goals! You will SO enjoy that long-awaited vacation when the time is right. 🙂

  9. I love this post! Thanks to Dave Ramsey (and a little hard work), we are 100% debt free!!

  10. I’ve been so very bad lately about not “bothering” with coupons–we moved back to our rural small town, and with no stores that double and only one major chain drugstore, the savings are slim sometimes—but every little bit helps, and the pennies saved make me more conscious of the ones that I do spend–as well as those I then choose NOT to spend. So I am breaking out my coupon binder and getting it back in order this week–as well as looking at those ways, large and small, that I can do other “saving” things. Thanks for a timely reminder to us all!

    • Charlene, your little town sounds just like mine! I’m cheering you on!

    • Ah, yes. When I can, I do the coupon thing. But if it means saving $5 for an hour or two of work? Eh… there are bigger ways to save. And you’re right, it’s more difficult in rural communities. There are definitely other things on my “do not refuse” list. 😉

  11. So true! My husband and I just made a difficult decision the other day that we’d been avoiding. We had plenty of money in our savings account to cover the debt on our credit card, but we were avoiding using that money to pay it off because it was like a security blanket. We had come up with a plan for paying off the credit card, but it would take us at least the rest of the year, and longer unless we came up with additional money from somewhere. The other day we just bit the bullet and paid off the cards! Now the money we allocated monthly to pay off the credit cards can go into our savings account. It will take a while to rebuild it, but totally worth it!

    • You are speaking to me, here. We’ve been back and forth about paying off the rest of our mortgage with some money in our account. But what if THIS happens? What if THAT happens? There’s always *something* to worry about… but we’re so ready to be done with the mortgage!

  12. I completely agree with this. Although its easier said than done to do what needs to be done, it is doable and it is a choice we make.

  13. Great post! I think it’s good to think about it in that way. Every choice we make leads us to where we are – so the latte ( or whatever) that is $4 a day can be $80 at the end of the month that could go on debt or in savings. My husband, who is the spender usually, suggested that we cut off all our movie channels (I think we had 3 that we rarely watched) a few weeks ago. I jumped on that as I had been working on him for a long time. It was a great choice! 🙂

    • How exciting to save on something you weren’t using anyway. I love finding little “pockets” of money like that. Fun!

  14. Great post Amy! Thanks for sharing. I think we can all use reminders that we have choices on how to spend our money. Thankful for such great resources available to help guide us too!

    • I preach “choices” to my kiddos all the time. I need the reminder that the same theory applies to me, too. 😉

  15. Heather T. says:

    We are on baby step 2, just started and it will be 3 years, if all goes right, hahahaha am really digging it and just want out of debt for good, its controlled my life up until now, and now I want control! Thanks for the post;}

  16. “If you refuse to bypass Starbucks without your favorite indulgence, you might be choosing debt.”

    My husband came to me this week and told me that every time he finds himself craving Sheetz or Starbucks coffee, he will come home and put that same amount toward paying off our debt. Yeah for husbands who choose when they refuse too! 🙂


  1. […] You Choose When You Refuse — “If you have debt and you refuse to change your lifestyle to get out of it, you are in essence choosing debt.” […]

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