I’m Debt Free and It Feels Good

Since I’ve gained more clarity on personal finance, I’ve been writing for Moola.id, a financial portal for youth. Check my financial articles on Moola.

I believe God is good and kind to me, that’s why I don’t have savings. The first time my manager heard this from me, she laughed her ass off. Even the most popular financial planner in the country, Ligwina Hananto, gave up on me. I was that ignorant.

Only when I realize that no matter how much I earned, I still struggle to pay for things the next month that I know I must do something about my financial situation. The golden moment was when I was in Singapore, all credit cards were almost maxed out, I had no cash nor dollars in bank, and I had to buy a frikkin deodorant cost $15 and I had to think about it for a good 10 minutes before I walked in and pray that my credit card can get through the little shopping activity I did.

I used to be careful with money, by careful means, I save money to be able to afford what I want. On my trip to Europe 4 years ago, I save for a year to afford that trip. Bought golds to keep my hands off the cash, and it works. It was a beautiful and enjoyable debtless trip.

But things get dirty when I started buying things I can’t afford in the hope of to be able to pay it, SOMEDAY. I started paying my credit card on minimum payment, which such a big disaster. Credit Card interest is the meanest, and I got 3 credit cards. To make it worse, I keep postponing to pay them because I feel like my hard earned money shouldn’t be used to pay debts *WRONG* While I keep burning money paying for the interests, finally I get to my senses and decide that 2016 would be the year I pay it all off.

Along with the intention, come the support from God, Alhamdulillah. I keep getting unexpected income that I use directly to pay off my debts. Even the bank’s customer support try to stop me to pay things off, but sorry lady, I had enough. Finally, in the holy month of Ramadan, I have paid off all my debts, and I’m officially debt free and it feels so damn good.

Come to think of it, here’s how I do it:

Look at your debts in the eye.

Don’t deny that they’re there. Acknowledge how much are you in debt and seek to pay debts with highest interest first. I used to tossed the bill immediately without opening them because I was afraid of what I did. But, to change your situation, you must first FACE IT. One thing I did was putting the number on the wall with the high determination to pay it off. You get what you focus on!

Make more money.

There are only 2 motivation for human’s life, they can be motivated by pain or pleasure. If the bills pain you enough, hopefully you will be motivated to seek for more income to pay it off. Focus to pay your debts first before you make any other financial move.

Live within your means.

Try to know your monthly and daily budget. Write down the exact monthly needs and decide how much you can spend per day, per week, per month and respect that budget. Cut everything unnecessary and don’t buy things you can’t afford. Just be mindful about your money.

Have fun, in a financially smart ways.

You still can have a lot of fun. I still can go to holidays and buy what I want, just it takes time to research for better price and of course saving for it. Don’t buy anything full price, anything is negotiable. Be a smart shopper.

Hope the tips are helpful, and have a good weekend!

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A writer of 30 books. Founder & Chief Content Officer of Zetta Media, a digital media network. Founder of NulisBuku.com & Storial.co. Initiate StartupLokal, the biggest startup community in Indonesia. Co-Managing Director of Girls in Tech Indonesia.
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