“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”
Being broke and in debt can take a mental and emotional toll. It can make us feel like we can’t do anything. “I can’t get in shape because I can’t afford a gym membership.” “I can’t eat healthy because I can’t afford healthy foods.” “I can’t have a social life because I don’t have any money.” All those thoughts have run through my head. But they’re just excuses. It’s true, being broke makes almost everything more difficult, but it also makes us more creative. It forces us to think about the things we can change. We can eat healthy on a budget. We can exercise outside of a gym and we can have a social life with a limited income. It just takes a little creativity, know-how, effort and time.
How are you overcoming the mental and emotional challenges of saving? Talk to me in the comments!
As far as the gym membership goes, I have one but I was able to negotiate the price (thanks to your tips, ha!) It’s worth it to be able to use a treadmill for long runs in the winter. With the discounted rate, I don’t get to take advantage of the fancy weight/toning classes, but I went to one a while back and learned enough to do it on my own in the park using a basic resistance band and some 8 pound weights. It definitely takes more motivation to get a workout done, but it’s a lot cheaper and it’s nice to workout outdoors when the weather is nice enough.
As far as the emotional toll that debt takes, I have learned that the hard way in the last 3 years of marriage. My husband got a law degree and the loan debt is pretty soul crushing. We do the best we can to save money, but it’s important to remember that spending time together and having a nice meal once in a while helps us keep the debt in perspective. It will get paid off sooner or later and in the meantime, it’s silly to put everything off — life, fitness, health, hobbies, some small indulgences — for “tomorrow” or “when the debt is paid.” Life does not happen in a vacuum. We don’t know if we’ll have “tomorrow,” so it’s best to try to keep the emotional toll of debt in perspective.
As we’re trying to get out of debt and pay off the mountain of my law school student loans, I am amazed by how discouraging it can be. We live in such a materialistic world, and whenever I see something I want to buy, but can’t because we’re working on our debt, I feel depressed. Instead of focusing on the things I can’t have now, I’m focused on the future and all of the things that I’ll be able to do and give to others when we’re debt free.
I’m focusing on the future, and the hope and dream of the day we’re debt free brings contentment.
This post hit me to the core. This has been my recent state of mind and just being reminded that this too is a step in the process lighten my mind and heart today…so, thank you for this amazing site and reminder today.
For those looking to find exercise outside of sa gym, please think about volunteering your time to walk dogs at your local shelter or rescue. Once you start doing it, you’ll be motivate to go in the rain, in the snow, on gray days and sunny ones, because you are the bright spot in an animals day! You’ll meet new people, new pups, and make such a difference in the lives of animals in need. If you are social media savvy, you can also post the dogs on your fb and Instagram and maybe find them a great home!
Heather, I LOVE your idea. It is also a great way for folks who can’t have a pet due to money or living situation to get their fix for furry friend love. Thank you for the tip!