Sunday, June 28, 2009

Are my friends toxic and getting me into debt?

Did I have a family member or friend who kept me motivated while I was getting out of debt? I will have to answer this question with yes and no. Yes, I had my boyfriend who was very supportive and wanted me to get out of debt. No, I didn't have support from my family and friends because I was too embarrassed to tell them. Actually, I didn't want to ruin my image with them. I wanted everyone to think that I was this successful young adult who really had it together.


Were/are my friends or family members toxic to my financial life? Yes, a few were toxic to my financial life. I had to finally make the decision that it was more important for me to get out of debt than to worry what other people thought of me. So, I started to pull back on my spending and I lost some friends because of it. To this day, I think they were using me. They were using me for a free meal and alcohol when we would go out. How did I ultimately make the decision to get out of debt over some friends? Well, I thought to myself will these friends help me out of debt if I really needed them to. After thinking about the possible responses to that question, I discovered that no, no one would help me out of this situation. I had to do it myself. Ironically, one friend who stopped talking to me, hanging out with me, and wouldn't go shopping with me anymore has found herself in a ton of debt. Currently, she has a mountain of debt and without a job as of a week ago. We are talking again and she now understands why I had changed my spending habits a few years back. Like I said in my last post, you just never know what someone is dealing with privately unless they open up and tell you. I know this may seem obvious but sometimes I think this is forgotten in our busy lives (working, commuting, parenting, etc.).



Here is a cartoon clip that highlights unhelpful friends to your financial health. Garfield says to his lady friend, "But if I order another pizza with Jon's credit card, he'll kill me." Obviously, Garfield isn't helping out Jon's financial health by taking his credit card and charging something that will be consumed quickly or sneaking a charge on Jon's credit card. I got this cartoon clip from http://www.garfield.com/. This isn't the full reproduction of the cartoon strip because I just wanted to illustrate my point with one frame from the strip.




Copyright 2008 Paws, Inc.



Note: These are solely my views and my interpretations of the cartoon and do not reflect the views of anyone working at or associated with Garfield.com.


Today, I would like you to spend a little time thinking about your getting out of debt support group. Your support group doesn't have to be a person that you know. It can be a blogger, a set of blog posts that are especially helpful, or a set of books. I just love books and I love to read. I believe reading makes you more resilient!



Action Items:



1. Do you try to keep up with others (a.k.a keeping up with the Joneses)?



2. Do you have monetary jealousy?



Best wishes,



Janie

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