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Monday, December 23, 2013

Trusting Friends to Help You on Your Journey

One thing that Dani and I have found helpful on our journey toward financial freedom is having the support of family and friends. I'm sure there are a few people in our inner circles who think we're totally nuts, and that's totally fine, but if you're going to undertake the dramatic steps necessary to become debt free you can't do it in secret.

Dani and I have two friends who just happen to live not far from us. After we took Financial Peace University, they became big encouragers of our endeavor. They understand where we are at in life. They believe in what we are doing. And they've helped us out in more ways than one—be it treating us to dinner, or loaning us certain items, or a cup of sugar, or just inviting us over for a relaxing night of games and laughter. And they never expect anything in return.

At first, accepting their support was difficult for me. I was 31 years old and was comfortably used to taking care of all my own needs. If I needed something I bought it. I was independent and I liked it.

But then I married a woman who approaches finances from an angle directly opposed to mine. She opened my eyes to a whole new way of living that involved a heck-of-a-lot more saving than I was used to. When we took Financial Peace University I realized that it was necessary for us to make some changes in the way we managed money, which meant making a lot of sacrifices. At first there were some really hard decisions to make, but they were worth it.

And thanks to our encouraging friends, it got easier. I had to let go of a lot of pride though. I had to come to terms with the fact that if Dani and I were going to meet our financial goals we both had to be willing to accept help sometimes.

A word of caution: don't accept help from people who are just going to gloat over you. Some people, even friends and family, just want to lend you support so you can owe them something later on, or they just want to hang it over you and shame you with it. If you can help it, don't accept support from these people because the emotional stress they'll cause you isn't worth it.

Fortunately for Dani and I, many of our friends and family have been more than generous with their support, and we're looking forward to the day when we can "pay it forward" by blessing someone else the way these people have blessed us.

Getting out of debt can't be done solo. You need accountability. You need encouragement. You need to let go of whatever pride might be holding you back and accept the help of understanding friends.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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