For those of you who are just starting to pay off your debt, I’m sure you’ve realized that changing your lifestyle to reach your goal of financial freedom is difficult. Your friends and family are still planning outings that you would at one point, never turn down. But now you have to.
So what does reinventing your social life actually mean? It means taking all of your bad spending habits and turning them into good ones. It means showing others that you are ready to make changes and start taking your finances seriously. Reinventing your social life will help you embrace the challenge that lies ahead, and hopefully have others join you on the ride.
Here are 5 ways to get the ball rolling:
1) Get creative
As our lifestyles change and we start to focus heavily on our goal of becoming debt free, it is important to use our creativity. Instead of choosing the convenient option that may cost more, try to plan ahead and come up with a way to save money. If your friends would like to grab lunch at a restaurant, suggest a picnic instead. This way you can both bring one item and cut the cost in half. There are many ways to change the usual social outings, and all it takes is a little bit of creativity and the will to try new things.
2) Lose the FOMO
The fear of missing out is something that can cause a negative effect on your finances in more ways than one. According to MyLife.com, 56% of social media users suffer from the fear of missing out on events, news, and even status updates. Ditch the feeling that you are missing out by replacing FOMO with the thought of being financially sound. Instead of spending $100 on a Friday night outing, you could save your money and be $100 closer to debt freedom. Maybe the best way to challenge yourself is to take a social media cleanse or switch to a cash based diet. Either way, find the best option to lose the FOMO, and gain the success.
3) Find a hobby
You know that thing you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time to start? The time is now. Find a hobby that will take your mind off of your debt. If you’re struggling to find something that is cost-effective, consider volunteering at a local not for profit. Keeping your social life active is important during this time in your life, and being able to give back or educate yourself will help with not only personal growth, but with understanding your new lifestyle.
4) Keep a journal
Another option while reinventing your social life for the sake of your finances is to keep a journal. Yes, I know it sounds kind of silly at first glance, but this could be the difference between being saddled with negative thoughts and finding an outlet. Writing down all of your success stories and even your failures can be a constant reminder of why you’re choosing to make sacrifices to take control of your debt. After all, sometimes it’s easier to tell your diary why you had a bad day than your mom (even though she’s pretty awesome too).
5) Talk it out
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to talk it out. Finding someone you trust to chat all things finance can be a huge relief. Choose a family member or friend that will understand why you are changing your social life. This way, you can be honest about whether or not the lunch date you had planned is a possibility.
Much like any other journey we take in our life, paying off debt can provide challenges both small and large. Worrying about whether your friends and family will understand can be the hardest aspect, but by reinventing your social life in small ways can help cushion the change. Saying no is okay. In fact, try to only say yes to things that help you get closer to achieving your goal. Now good luck, and go show your debt whose boss!
Image Credit: Matthews Anderson