Drowning in Debt
So when I was a kid, I used to swim every day. I would swim for fun! I would swim for exercise and because I grew up by a lake, I thought this made me an excellent swimmer. Daily walks to the lake entailed swimming laps and laying out in the sun. This was a way of life when you grew up a few blocks from the water. Winter was your enemy and summer your best friend.
Yet, that day in the five-foot hotel pool told a story of a different swimmer. Not the story of a swimmer that could swim laps around Michael Phelps, but of a vulnerable kid that could not get a grip. That was the day my brother started drowning. Yet, being the great swimmer that I am, I knew I could save him.
I saw it so differently in my head. I envisioned diving in, grabbing him, and pulling him to the edge. It was all so clear and I would be a hero!
However, I didn’t take into account, when the water is over your head and the other person is panicking – by the way, I’m not a lifeguard – saving them is near to impossible.
As I swam up to my brother bobbing up and down grabbing for any inch of air to fill his water-logged lungs, he grabbed me and started taking me down with him. I – the great swimmer from Michigan – started to panic myself.
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Now if you have never started to drown before, let me explain how it feels. Water fills your mouth and you swallow a gulp. You see above the water and gasp for air but dunk under again gaining a big mouth of water. You have the strong scent of chlorine in your mouth and nose and you are choking for a breath but the air space is taken up by water. All the while, in this life or death situation reasoning, is thrown to the curb while holding on for one more dear gasp of air.
Outcome of Nearly Drowning
As my head now bobbed up and down while my brother grabbed and reached for anything to hold on to, something amazing happened. A complete stranger – a stranger to whom I owe my life – jumped in and saved both of us. There we were two kids, maybe eight or nine years old, hugging this said stranger, gasping and choking for air, but also relieved we were saved.
The day this man saved our lives is not meant to scare you or teach you about water safety, but to acknowledge the feeling you have when you are drowning in debt. Carrying debt is like drowning in a deep pool and bobbing up and down for air, which may help in the short-term, but it is only a matter of time before you dunk completely under as your debt anchor takes you down and you need rescuing.
However, I am not a complete stranger, but a friendly face here to help. I’m Sarah from I Heart Frugal and we can get a grasp on this debt thing together and pull you out of that strong current. I will throw you a flotation device with my most popular “Get Out of Debt” post listed below! Follow my steps and you will come up for air and breathe easily while you carry on with your “debt-free” life.
Are you Drowning in Debt? There is Help!
If you are drowning in debt, you are not alone. Over half of America is right there drowning with you. Yet, there are steps you can take to pull yourself to shore. Check out the posts below to get your budget on track and begin paving the path to a debt-free life.
1. Spending Journal – The first area of your budget that will be an eye-opener is how you are currently spending. You can create a spending journal to help tweak your habits. Determine areas that are needs versus wants and budget accordingly.
Post: How to Use a Spending Journal to Conquer Debt
2. Create a Budget – A budget is essential for a debt-free life. Even if you make a six-figure salary, you still need a budget. How many athletes and pop stars have bankrupted themselves? It is true, the more money most people make, the more they spend. Living within your means will keep you on track and the only way to tell your money what to do is to track and plan.
Post: Budgets 2017 New Year, New Budget
3. Curb Your Impulse Spending – Impulse spending is a HUGE reason you are in this boat with no paddles. This post will help you get a grip on out of control spending.
Say Goodbye to Impulse Buys – Saving Money
4. Get Out of Debt – Once you have read through the above posts, you will find this 11 step guide helpful and interesting. This post contains link backs to some of the above-mentioned posts; however, this read will give you more details to help with your personal finances.
How to Get Out of Debt in 11 Steps
5. Emergency Fund – Once you are out of debt, build a safety net or an emergency fund so you do not have to rely on credit cards.
Secrets to Saving for an Emergency Fund Now
If you need more budgeting and money-saving tips, sign up for the I Heart Frugal Newsletter below:
After learning what it feels like to nearly drown with that panicking, sinking feeling deep down within, I also know it is possible to come up for air just like that day in the pool. If you feel you are drowning in debt, you are not alone.
There is help in the debt pool and there are ways to cut that underwater anchor pulling you down. I should know, I have paid off over $23,000 worth of student loans. It is a gift to have this weight lifted!
My husband and I have built an emergency fund to cover six months of expenses if something were to happen to him or his job. We’ve got our bases covered and I am ready to help you reach your amazing debt-free life too.
As always, take care – Sarah
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2 Comments on Are You Drowning in Debt? Learn How to Come up for Air
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The story in the pool has reminded me of my drowning experience in a creek with a fast stream. I was saved by my friend back then. Now, we are trying to not drown in debt, and are making small steps to help us out. You are so right about having good income and still be in debt: yes it is possible. But we are hoping to be able to get rid of debt once and forever… the sooner the better.
Wow, Nat! You really do know what I am talking about. Best wishes to you on your debt journey!