The Time I Felt Like a Bad Friend

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During my debt free journey, I struggled figuring out when it was best to tell my loved ones, “No.” This is the first part of a series – most difficult moments paying off debt. It is the time I felt like a bad friend.

Background

The first 16 months I tried to get out of debt, I only paid off $20,000. At that rate, I would be in debt for at least five more years and I could not wait that long. I decided to intensify my progress, which called for making even bigger sacrifices. At the time, I felt like I was already making huge sacrifices. Plus, I could not increase my income anymore because I reached a ceiling at work and I was already working a part-time job. I even considered delivering pizzas at night in Baltimore City, but it seemed unsafe.

Eventually, I realized there was a way to find more money and it was within my budget. I needed to learn how to tell my friends, family, and myself, “No.” I was making extra payments of about $750 a month and that was cute. Being cute and subtle with it was not going to knock out debt. I had $60,000 in debt, a record of making slow progress, and a deep desire to go harder.

What to Do?

I reviewed my budget and realized I had a large expense looming on the horizon – my friend’s out-of-state wedding that I was supposed to attend. It would have cost between $1,000-$1,500 with flight, hotel, and rental car. I had a tough decision to make. Do I use the money to go to her wedding or do I put the money towards my debt?  I could attend the wedding and delay the plan to go harder by a month or so. However, I realized if I continued to make excuses like that, I was never going to change my behavior.

Saying “No”

I called my friend on the phone and explained to her that I could not attend her wedding because I was working towards becoming debt free. I also apologized for telling her that I would attend when I should have told her the truth. I felt like a bad friend, but she understood.

People often ask me how did I become debt free. Learning how to make tough decisions like that helped me.  I looked at my goals and my budget and, attending an out-of-state wedding did not align with advancing my priorities. Once the answer became clear I needed the courage to admit it.

Final Thoughts

I share this story to show the type of sacrifices I made to become debt free. Comment below and let me know if you have made tough decisions on your journey to financial freedom.

By Simone, creator of Slim Fit Wallet

Thanks for reading!