How to Give Yourself a Financial Kick in the Pants

by David Bakke

financial kickin the pantsI have written a lot in the past about what finally motivated me to straighten out my finances and get out of debt.  It certainly wasn’t any “light bulb going off” moment.  It was more about being tired of stressing out all the time about my bills, tired of not having enough money to do the things I wanted to do, etc.

So anyway, I made it out of debt.  It took quite awhile, but I made it.

Now I know that most people who are in debt are certainly not going to wake up one morning and say to themselves “Gee, I think I’ll start to get myself out of debt today.”  There is going to have to be more than that for most of us.

I think what most people need is a “financial kick in the pants”.  They need something that is finally going to wake them to wake up and smell the coffee.  To finally see what a difference being out of debt can make in their everyday lives.  How many more financial doors it can open up, etc.

Of course this kick in the pants is probably going to be different for everyone. But I was beginning to think of some possible scenarios that might work for those of  us who truly want get out of debt.

This is what I came up with:

Recently, a friend of mine and I were looking at flat screen TVs.  He was thinking about getting one, but after awhile he just decided that he didn’t have enough money to do it.  I knew that he was in debt, didn’t pay his credit card balances in full each month and so forth, and this is what I was dying to say to him.

Would you like to see how could afford it without adding one dime to your income?  Go home– get out your credit card statements for the last three months. Add up all the money that you paid in interest on these credit cards.  Multiply this times 4.  You now probably have enough for 2 or three flat screens.”

This is what is needed is most people’s lives.  A huge, can’t miss, glaring example of how much more money you will have at your disposal by not living in debt.

Here’s another one.  At my job, the majority of my co-workers go out to eat their lunch every day.  What I want to say to them is “How would you like to get rid of your electric and water bill each month?” OK, let’s say you spend $6 per day for lunch (a very conservative number), five times per week.  That’s $120 per month.  Switch to bringing your lunch with you, which would probably cost about $10 a week (leftovers, homemade sandwiches, etc).  There is a savings of about $80 per month.  About the cost of the average power and water bills combined, I would guess.

One more.  Most people I know still have home telephone service.  What I want to ask them is “Why?”  Then I want to ask them if they’d like to start getting free internet service.  If you have a cell phone, why do you need a home phone?  The only legitimate reason I can think of is if you still have dial-up internet.  If that is case, upgrade your internet and get rid of your home phone.  There are a variety of companies out there that can provide you with a phone line ran through your computer for a fraction of what you pay in monthly residential phone service.  I’d guess the average home phone bill is about $40 per month.  I would also guess that is the average bill for monthly internet service.  Drop your home phone, get internet for free.

It is these kinds of “punch in the mouth” examples that I think people need to motivate them to do something about their finances.  It didn’t take that much for me, as I said; it just took being tired of being in debt.

As always, your comments and suggestions are appreciated below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: