Contrary to CF’s belief, my eyes do not have the power to bore through the back of her skull.

This week’s guest post is written by a good friend from church (one of the two CFs with whom I get together on an almost weekly basis) who was acting strangely towards me when I went to speak with her after the service last Sunday. The message had been on the topic of money, and when I said, “The sermon was good, wasn’t it?” I discovered why she had been acting so oddly. “I could feel your eyes boring into the back of my skull!” she said. My eyes had done no such thing! They don’t have that kind of power. I was fascinated by the fact that she had transferred her conscience to me though, and I was grateful when she agreed to write a post.

Witnessing Prudence’s journey out of debt

My friend Prudence Debtfree asked me to be a guest blogger for her this week, and I was honoured to say yes.

I have watched her since the beginning of her journey out of debt and have had the privilege of learning with her along the way.  She caught the fever of getting out of debt with a gazelle intensity. I, on the other hand, have been struggling with this idea of debt-reduction.  I have become more aware of my finances since Prudence started her journey, but I am slow to adopt that gazelle intensity in tackling my debts.

Taboo on money talk

She has helped me to be more conscious of money and how I am handling (or mishandling) it.  She actually talks about money matters out loud. I’m not used to that! It made me nervous at first, but I am willing to listen and on occasion engage in a money conversation, which is a big step for me.  We didn’t talk about money at home as I was growing up, and it seemed to be a big secret.  For instance,  I was not taught how to manage money, and I got the impression that you should never ask how much someone paid for something (that was rude). Making a budget was unheard of;  following one was a real mystery.  I had to muddle through in my teen years, often spending all my money – as it was all mine, with no bills to worry about. I don’t seem to have progressed enough since then.

Eyes boring through head

I was in church last Sunday listening to the pastor’s message dealing with money issues, and I could feel Prudence’s eyes boring into the back of my head.  I discussed it with her after the service and she said she wasn’t doing anything of the kind.  It was just my conscience deflecting my guilt and reading it as judgement, which Prudence has never given to me.  She has always been kind and thoughtful in the way she has shared information about and struggles with her journey out of debt.

Head half-in & half-out of the sand

I don’t think she realizes the impact she has had on me.  My money awareness is now always in the back of my mind. Prudence was instrumental in getting me to face my taxes and get them done – something I had ignored for a few years.  I’m still part ostrich though, and I figure if I bury my head in the sand and ignore the facts, my debt will somehow miraculously disappear.  That has not been the case though, and part of me knows it will not be the case. I need to confront my “giant” and deal with it head on.

I have to say I am a yo-yoer when it comes to debt.  I get all gun-ho, face it, and deal with the issues at hand.  I’m good for a while, and then I fall off the wagon again.  Some of my successes have included doing the catch up thing with my taxes and getting current (although I have to admit, I have yet to do this year’s taxes – but I intend to get on that soon –  hmmmm…)  I went on a winter vacation last winter, but I actually saved the money and was able to pay for the trip beforehand instead of putting it on credit.  That is something I would not have consciously tried to do in the past.  These small successes have given me the encouragement to believe I may actually be making progress in my journey out of debt.  I am indeed my own worst enemy, as when I am stressed or feeling insecure, I tend to go shopping and buy things I don’t need but are sparkly.  This is a temporary fix, and I often beat myself up later. “Why did I buy this? I don’t need it!”  The next step would be to return these things back to the store, which I have done on occasion (but not often enough), and the final step would be to  get to the point where I don’t even make the purchases in the first place.  I’m the only one who can make the decision and commitment it takes to see it through to the end.

Turtle intensity

Prudence’s subtle impact is making a difference, albeit slowly. Her talks about her money challenges and victories have been heard.  Now I just need a kick in the pants to get going. I’m not sure what form that will take, but I do know one thing….Prudence has helped me to make changes; maybe not like a gazelle, maybe more like a turtle.

Thank you Prudence!


Comments are welcome!


 

 

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7 Comments

  1. CF, I am in no place to judge you at all! I of all people completely understand how you got into debt and why you’re staying there. I hope for your sake that you get the same “Aha!” moment that I experienced, and that you too will set out on a focused and intentional journey out of debt. Whether or not you do, however, you have my friendship. And I will never allow my eyes to burn a hole through your skull : )

  2. Good luck CF! We all need to break the money taboo and talk about the topic opening within our families. It’s one of the big things we are doing with our children. Just as Prudence had an influence on you with her money talk. We may do it one person at a time with #Turtleintensity., but at least it’s one more person on the right track.

  3. Just the fact that you are even thinking about and making small strides to deal with debt is a very positive step. It’s great that Prudence is a positive supporter of your efforts, no matter the pace you’re taking. Best wishes to you and thanks for sharing your perspective as its one the PF world doesn’t often hear.

  4. Well first of all Prudence, congratulations on making a positive impact in your friend’s lives! I think CF acknowledging where you stand right now on this blog is a great first step. Consider writing about your journey as it’s a great way to be accountable. Know that you DESERVE to be debt free and free of that burden. Hopefully that will be a great first step to at least avoid buying shiny new things. Good luck!

  5. I so enjoyed reading the impact Prudence had on you. And yes….there are turtles and there are gazelles. It’s important to stay fixed on the goals we have in life and learn to minimize the time we spend with our face in the mud when we fall off the wagon. Sometimes we feel secure down there as it is where we are comfortable. Dear friend, you have come out of your shell, tested the water, and are moving forward.

  6. Kudos, CF, for telling your story! It was very brave and honest! I think financial responsibility is a lot like a diet: it helps to make it more of a lifestyle so it will stick. Because intense moments yo yo ing to backslides is truly difficult! Best of luck on your journey: acknowledging that things need to change is often the hardest and most important step. I’ll be cheering you on!

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