So, what does it mean to be intentional? First, let’s look at the definition of intentional.
INTENTIONAL– done on purpose, deliberate; calculated, conscious, intended.
So basically, it is taking life by the B$LLs and making stuff happen. Don’t just let life happen, decide what you want to do and make it happen.
A 2015 survey conducted by TNS for The Conference Board, an international nonprofit business research group, asked 5,000 U.S. households about their job satisfaction. The survey found only 48 percent were happy and satisfied with their jobs. Yikes!
This sounds terrible, but I don’t know too many people who are undeniably happy with their jobs. I don’t see many people loving the life they are living.
When I think about intentionality, I think about living a life with a plan in mind to get what I want out of life. Just to back up for a second, we took a trip in October 2014 that changed the course of our lives and made us start spending intentionally. We heard from friends of ours about “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey and how much it was helping them with their finances. Our friends had no idea we were working just to pay off our credit card bill each month and we couldn’t save a dime or pay off any debt at the time. They had no idea my husband and I would fight over our finances. They had no idea that trip would change our lives and our finances in a very dramatic way.
We drove home from Virginia after visiting with our friends and – to make a long story short – we decided to be very intentional with our finances. We paid off TONS of debt within six months. We are not completely debt-free now, but we are well on our way. We actually enjoy the process of paying off our debt because we look forward to the freedom we will have once everything is paid off.
For us, we needed a major change in our finances. We needed an overhaul. We needed to be different and look at life differently. I do not regret that decision one bit. I feel like it actually has made me a stronger person. One of the big decisions we made was getting rid of our car payment by trading in our current car for one we could pay off. So what did we buy, you ask? A big, blue 2004 Durango, aka “Big Blue”.
That one trip and one conversation with our friends helped me realize the important things in life. My little family is so important and our future financial and time freedom are so much more important than any possession I possibly could have. My husband and I made the tough decision to be a couple who strives for financial success by living intentionally with our finances. We tell our money where to go each month because we want to feel the freedom of not having any debt at all.
So here are my thoughts on living an intentional life. When you wake up each morning, what do you want to be doing? What makes you happy? Each of us has an idea of what we would be doing if we didn’t have to work, right? Did you ever think for a minute that you could do that if you didn’t have debt? What would be possible in your life if you had everything paid off? It is achievable, you just have to want to make it happen. That is what intentional means. You have to want it and you have to take steps to ensure you are going to have the best future possible.
If you choose to do the Spending Fast, find a way to make it livable and fun. Life doesn’t have to be boring when you are trying to save. Take advantage of free events happening around you. Go to a friend’s house for dinner. Have game nights at your house. Do cookouts and have everyone bring a dish. There are so many ways to have fun without spending a ton of money! If you need some ideas, check out 98 fun and cheap date ideas!
But seriously, do me a favor and sit down and really picture what you see yourself doing in the future.
What does that look like to you? What steps could you take to make that happen?
Becky Wolfe hopes to inspire others to start their journey to becoming debt-free. You can learn more about Becky on her site Frame to Freedom.
P.S. Want to change your mindset? Here’s a game-changer alert! CLICK HERE for the Money Magnet + Abundance Affirmations Super List