3 Things NOT To Sacrifice When Paying Off Debt

July 26, 2016

3 Things NOT to Sacrifice When Paying Off Debt

Sacrifice. You’ll hear this word a lot in regards to dumping debt. And rightfully so. If you make the decision to stop living beyond your means, sacrifice is going to play a role.

Another word you will hear and need to learn is “no”. Anyone on a journey to debt freedom will quickly learn the power and importance of this two-letter word. You will need to learn how to say no—first to yourself, and then to others. In doing so, you will build resistance to anything that doesn’t line up with your goal of getting rid of your debt.

That being said, if you are not careful, there are some things that you may sacrifice and say no to without intending to. In fact, you will need to go out of your way to prioritize these three things. Otherwise, you may look back at your journey and realize you lost more than just the debt.

1. Relationships

Maintaining your relationships should by far be a priority when paying off debt—at least the ones you value. (You may need to cut loose the relationships that are toxic or prevent you from meeting your financial goals.)

As you embrace the word no, I encourage you to think about what you can replace it with. For example, no to dinner and a movie with a friend can be replaced with yes to a picnic and a free outdoor movie at your local park. Cutting back on your spending does not have to mean cutting back on spending time with the people in your life. Be creative and intentional about finding alternatives to your no’s.

When you look back on your debt-free journey, you’ll be grateful that your relationships are still intact.

2. Experiences

The amount of time it will take you to get out of debt will likely be unclear if you’re just starting out. As you progress and focus on your goals, you may gain a clearer picture of how long your journey may be. Whatever the length, avoid making it a period in your life that is void of rich and new experiences.

Forgoing vacations and eliminating your standard weekend-spending does not have to result in you sitting at home and doing nothing. Free museum days, free classes and workshops, outdoor concerts, local historical sites, beaches, parks, etc., can provide quality and unique experiences during this time.

The key is to be intentional about seeking out these experiences, otherwise, yes, you will be sitting at home doing nothing.

3. Generosity

Struggling with this category is common. I have seen many people feel pressured when it comes to gift-giving and sometimes succumb to spending money they don’t have all in the name of generosity. Or they go the opposite route and eliminate giving.

Yes, you are cutting back on your spending, so if you typically would overspend on gifts, your gift-giving may look different. You can still be generous with the resources you have in abundance like your time or a skill you have. When possible, tangible gifts can be replaced with a service you provide or a need you can meet.

While you are focusing on your financial situation, make sure that it does not affect your generosity towards others.

No Regrets

As you are paying off your debt, be mindful about prioritizing these three things. If you are not intentional about prioritizing them, you will sacrifice more than you set out to.

One of the benefits of the sacrifice while paying off debt is the ability to say yes to more things later. You want to make sure your relationships, experiences, and generosity are unscathed when it’s all said and done and to look back at your journey with no regrets.

Are you currently paying off your debt? Are you prioritizing your relationships, experiences, and generosity?