What is your point of view about debt? Does it seem normal, inevitable or unavoidable to you? Have you been taught to believe that debt is bad, wrong or a necessary evil? Do you avoid looking at your debt? Do you keep yourself ignorant about debt, and hope that it will take care of itself?
What if I were to tell you that debt is just a choice? It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s not right or wrong – it’s a choice.
This may sound simplistic, yet the most essential and powerful tool for getting out of debt is to recognise that debt is a choice you have and that you can change it if you desire to do so. Once you make the choice to get out of debt, you can change everything.
Often when I say to people, “Debt is just a choice. Money is just a choice,” they don’t really want to know it. They would prefer to judge themselves rather than have a look at what they are currently creating as their reality.
You may ask yourself, “If debt is just a choice, why do I have it? What have I done wrong? Why haven’t I gotten it right?” Please don’t judge or blame. Perhaps now is the perfect time to choose something new. The moment you choose something different, you shift your reality with money. The moment you say to yourself, “You know what? No matter what, I am going to change this!” you empower yourself to begin taking off the debt-coloured glasses and ask, “What else is possible?” and “What can I do to change this?”
Money… that’s what I want!
When you change your point of view, your reality changes. What point of view do you have that is creating your current financial situation? What if you allowed yourself to change that point of view? Would it give you freedom to choose something different?
What is the difference between what is real and what isn’t real for you in life? Your choice on how you view it. The point of view you have had about money up until now has created your current money situation. How is that working for you?
I could have bought into my family’s point of view that it was inappropriate to talk about money at the dinner table, and made myself wrong for desiring to talk about money over dinner. I could have stopped doing it. But what I did instead was recognise that their point of view was just their point of view and that it didn’t have to be real and true for me.
Changing your ‘financial mindset is fun
My partner and I love talking about money over a glass of wine and dinner. We have what we like to call ‘Financial 101s’ whilst enjoying the delicious meals he cooks. We talk about where we are at with money, what we would like to create with money one year, five years, ten years in the future and to play with the idea of what else is possible we haven’t considered.
We have fun, we generate a lot of enthusiasm and joy in our lives, we come up with great ideas, and we set new targets. If you “un-fixed” your fixed points of view of money, if you had no judgement of money, what would you create your financial realty to be? Would it be serious and problematic, like we are so often told it is? Or would you create something very, very different?
This is an edited extract from Getting out of Debt Joyfully by Simone Milases. Simone was $187,000 in debt when she realised she needed to make a change. With the help of the tools featured in her book she was out of debt in two years.