I read an article about a guy who paid off $52,000 in credit card debt in seven months. “Wait, wait, wait,” you’re probably saying. “There’s a person who charged $52,000 to a credit card?”
In his story, he explains that he and his wife felt like they deserved a certain lifestyle because they had worked so hard. That meant cruises, designer clothes, a sports car, etc.
I can’t be too critical because we’re all guilty of this mentality. We have this idea that a certain amount of work equals a certain amount of luxury, but the math doesn’t always add up. More often than not, we think we should have to do half as much work as we actually need to.
For instance, most of us go to college thinking an education will earn us a life of comfort. Really, a bachelor’s degree just guarantees that you’ll stay out of poverty.
Part of this mentality comes from the stories we tell. Everyone loves to hear about an entrepreneur making millions off of a simple idea; few of us stick around to hear how hard it was to turn the idea into a business.
We look at pictures of expensive vacations our friends went on and think we should be able to go too; we don’t know what our friends had to sacrifice to save for that vacation.
I heard on the news once that a woman was having her car repossessed, and she was so mad about it that she broke all the windows with a baseball bat. What’s most shocking to me is the fact that she felt the car was hers in the first place. She didn’t pay for it. She didn’t earn it. She didn’t deserve it.
Think of it this way: if you have any debt – any at all – then you did not earn all the things you have, which means you do not deserve the things you have. My husband and I did not buy our house; we do not deserve our house. We have not paid off our car; we do not deserve a car.
This all ties in to food. So many of us complain about the high cost of groceries and our exorbitant grocery bill. We clip coupons and join Ibotta. Meanwhile, we’re writhing in agony under the weight of our debts.
And then we throw our food away.
Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
So many people feel like they’re too good to eat leftovers. It’s not enough that the food is edible, nutritious, and delicious; nope, it’s old, so it’s gotta go.
But if you’re living in a house that isn’t yours, driving a car you didn’t pay for, paying off an education you have yet to reimburse, charging up credit cards for stuff you think you deserve, then you’re throwing away food that isn’t yours. You’re living off of the generosity of lenders – and when I say “generosity” it’s inaccurate, because those lenders are robbing you blind.
It’s time we changed our way of thinking. When we look at our food, we shouldn’t think, “I wonder if I should throw this away?” Instead, we should think, “I can’t afford to throw this away.” Because most of us can’t, yet for some reason, we do it anyway.