The "Get Out Of Your Car!" Fund

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Don't hate the hustlers who get financial blessings

Sometimes I read other people's stories of how they got out of phenomenal amounts of debt, sometimes in record time. They sold a car or two, sold some rental property, got a settlement from a lawsuit, or managed to cut expenses to save a $1000 a month (suggesting they earn a lot of money to begin with).

This frustrates hard-working, low wage-earning people who want to know where the stories of real struggling people are.

I understand the frustration and my response is, "Stop comparing and walk away with this: Getting out of debt takes a lot of commitment and hard work. That's the theme that applies to all of us, even if occasional windfalls come our way or we have a higher-than-average income."

Before I made the serious decision to get out of debt 10 months ago, I was earning $40K a year(not a fortune) plus a 2nd job earning $2K, renting a tiny room, and often eating one meal a day because that's all I could afford. I decided to go live in my car, apply all extra money towards debt or an emergency fund, and learn survival skills.

Due to those sacrifices, God's guidance, and some financial blessings along the way, I have paid off all credit cards and managed emergencies. I first got a raise, then a higher-paying job. I received a small insurance pay-out.  

Some people could say, "Well, you don't have any kids, you earned $40K, and you saved a lot by living in your car. That made it easier for you."

The point is I hustled and took advantage of the opportunities that I have. Not every childless person is able to get out of debt, but I used that to my advantage. Not everyone is able to temporarily live in their car, but I used my situation to my advantage. 

After 5 months, I got a new job paying > 50% more than my old job. I didn't expect that to happen. Lots of people who've gotten out of debt have that story (windfalls coming their way or getting better-paying jobs). It's not everyone's story, but it's not rare either. But even, without the increase in income, I was a hustler and on my way to becoming debt-free.

Lots of people get "lucky" when they match effort with an honorable goal. Maybe it's God's blessing following around smart choices, or maybe the truth is that we were getting blessed ("lucky") all along but squandering the financial blessings and didn't realize it (I think that was my case).

I know I posted this earlier this month, but here it is again:
"If you pray for God to move a mountain, don't be surprised if He hands you a shovel."

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