DH = Dear Husband
DD3 = Dear Third Daughter
DD1 = Dear First Daughter
I’ve recently entered the world of Twitter. In October, I decided to get a Twitter account after the morning host of a local radio station interviewed me and advised me to do so. In February, a Twitter advocate among my colleagues sat me down and helped me to set up an account. In May, I actually started to use it. It took seven months from decision to execution, but Prudebtfree is now in the Twittersphere.
Debt-Warriors on Twitter
Twitter was an overwhelming place at first, but I’ve narrowed my focus to people and organizations committed to debt reduction, and it’s become a source of motivation. I find myself humbled by what other debt-warriors are sacrificing in their respective efforts. When you’re getting out of debt, you come to realize that there is always something more you can do, and while this can be a deflating truth, it can also, if specifically targeted, help each one of us to move forward. Many of my fellow Twitter debtors are in their twenties or thirties, and I cheer them on. It’s so wise to start young! But whatever the age, whatever the size of debt, and whatever the income level of the debtor, there are common threads that run among all of us:
Ø Most of us have a history of bad money management.
Ø Most of us have had a wake-up call – typically in the form of a loss of income.
Ø Most of us are following some kind of program to get out of debt.
Ø Each of us has particular points of weakness in taking on the giant.
I’ve pinpointed mine, and it is now my target. Food. I LOVE food. I especially love food that has been prepared by someone in a restaurant. Food that I don’t normally eat at home. Muffins so warm, butter melts upon contact. Asian vegetables cooked to a baffling crispy perfection. Indian naan bread soaking up the sauce from buttered chicken . . . My love affair with food is long standing and intense.
Discretionary Money Challenge
DH and I decided several months before we launched on our journey out of debt that we would each have $600 per month for discretionary spending. (See post “Discretionary Money: His and Hers”.) It goes towards gifts and charitable donations; towards purchases that one of us wants to make, but not the other; towards movies, treats, and meals out. All of the above is OK.
Here is what is not OK: I too often buy snacks and meals on my own. When I’m rushed in the morning and don’t make breakfast; when a snack craving hits me mid-afternoon; during my wait while DD3 trains for her sport in the evening. And it all adds up. I told DD1 in the fall that I would fly out west to see her this August. She’s been living far from home, studying and working for over two years now, and I haven’t yet visited her. With so much lead time, you’d think I’d have saved a good amount for the trip by this point. But I haven’t. The leakage towards treats and meals is sabotaging my plan. So here’s my commitment: not another penny will I spend on treats or meals out until I have saved enough money from my discretionary fund to purchase a plane ticket.
I’m slow to adopt new technology and social networking. But I’m glad I’m on Twitter. Reading the experience and advice of other debt-warriors has helped me to determine where I need to focus in my own fight against debt. And I know what I need to do. Prudebtfree is ready for battle.