Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We're full of excuses

When I tell people that we are striving to get out of debt and the things we do to achieve that goal, they first look at me like I just told them we plan on moving to Mars. Then they start with the excuses.

We all have excuses, but it takes guts to toss the excuses and stomach reality.

Here are the common excuses I hear:

#1 I need a smart phone for work, I can't get rid of my plan.

That's not true (well, you may need it for work, but you can totally scrap that plan). Let's say you have AT&T.

Your AT&T monthly plan
$70 unlimited minutes
$50 5GB of usage
$20 unlimited messaging
$140 total

Option One: 
Switch to Straight Talk monthly plan
$45 unlimited everything
$45 total

Option Two:
Switch to Republic Wireless monthly plan
$19 unlimited everything
$19 total

Your possible monthly savings = $121

#2 I need a good car for work, so I don't mind having a car payment.

Ugh. Stop. Be honest, you just don't want to roll up in a car with mutli-colored parts and an awkward thumping sound.

Your $350 car payment plan
You have a car, but you don't own it. Woo hoo!
$350 total

The clunker plan
Sell your new car. Any. Way. You. Can.
Buy a car for $1,000 (3 months of car payments).
Put $100 into a savings account each month for car maintenance and eventual car replacement. You should be doing this with a new car as well for maintenance.
$1,000 initial investment

Your possible monthly savings = $350

#3 I could never part with cable -- I have to unwind with television at the end of the day.

Sure, I get that ... to an extent. I like to let my brain melt for a little while as well, but you don't need cable to do that. We do Netflix and Hulu and that's more than enough.

Your AT&T monthly plan
$60 per month
$60 total

Netflix and Hulu Plan
$8 Netflix
$8 Hulu
$16 total

Your possible monthly savings = $44

If you do all three of these, you could save $515 per month. That's a lot of money. How much money?

If you have a $15,000 student loan at 6.5% interest rate with a $150 minimum payment:

You only pay the minimum
12 years of payments
$6,663 of total interest paid

You add your $515 monthly savings
2 years of payments
$1026 of total interest paid

So in the end, your $515 in savings each month saved you over $5,000 and 10 years of payments (not to mention the interest you saved by selling your new car and the months of payments saved there).

This is just a tiny glimpse of how making small sacrifices pays off in the ending. As Dave Ramsey would say, delaying pleasure is a true sign of maturity. Stop making excuses, stop being a coward and start making changes for a better future.

Note: I am not a financial consultant. These numbers are calculated by me. To get accurate advice for your situation, contact a financial planner.

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