Ways to be debt free: Discipline

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So here I am again talking about being debt free, well who doesn’t want to be debt free?

So we start the third one which deals with what we call discipline.

As usual lets define discipline and I got this definition from http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu
  • S: (n) discipline (a system of rules of conduct or method of practice) “he quickly learned the discipline of prison routine”; “for such a plan to work requires discipline”;
  • S: (n) discipline (the trait of being well behaved) “he insisted on discipline among the troops”
  • S: (n) discipline (training to improve strength or self-control)
Why one needs discipline to be debt free? Well in all activities we human beings do we must always have this trait. To be disciplined means having a system that one follows strictly to achieve self-control.
Discipline will be one’s day to day guide. It will be the reminder that one will see the moment they wake up from sleep. It is self control.
I know its hard to not to tame the “buy it now” attitude of most of us. We buy things we don’t essentially need now even if we don’t have the capacity to purchase specially when you are buried in debt. 
The very best means that I made to tame myself from spending money is to see where it is going and how much is it as time passes by. I got this idea from Bo Sanchez‘s book   Simplify and live a Good life

When you see how much money you are spending you will have thoughts  of unbelief after seeing how could a small amount spent for something insignificant  became budget eaters when presented in accumulated basis and at the same time how will one appreciate on savings made on stopping or avoiding spending on unnecessary things.

Here is what you gonna do. Buy a notebook small enough to fit in your pocket or better yet if you have those Starbucks planner use it for this one. Carry a pen always and the moment you make a cash out or spending write it down. Put the date, the nature of spending, and the amount. Do this for all spending you make including credit card purchases.

After a week list down this spending data and organize them into similar expenses and categories like cash or credit card etc. After a week you can see where you are spending. And I bet you this will be an eye opener.You might find out that you might be spending Php 1,000.00 on cigarette which for me is a very non-essential thing and yet you are very willing to spend for. Imagine if you could have quit smoking you could have probably bought a new Levi’s pants in 4 weeks.

Do you see what I am driving at? Probably small spending does not hurt or even does not require your attention. But if such is accumulated over a period of time you will realize what a waste it was.

Back then I wrote all expenses even the jeepney fare I pay for. After summing up all my expenses I was able to see my spending pattern. For their I was able to make my monthly budget(since my salary back in my old job is monthly) after deducting my “average” spending it shows that I have a saving of Php 500.00 for my monthly salary…and that is so small saving.

Well after knowing all that I search means and ways to be able to have savings of Php 1,000.00 a month. This means cutting of my unnecessary spending which was Internet usage in Netopia and cutting my coffee addiction to half. It doesn’t mean you have to cut all your unnecessary spending all at one time I tell you that would be traumatic. 
Do small steps.
For example what I did was to only access Internet every two weeks  and cutting my coffee to only in the morning( I drink coffee when going to work and after work… this was my only addiction 🙂 ). So savings from Php 500.00 went up to Php 1,000.00.

This is what we call discipline. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a punishment by not getting or cutting of your usual things. It just requires one to practice it on a small scale daily basis which in the long run will train one to live it as if its already second nature.

So from now on jot down those spending and you might find where to discipline your spending to save more…
About the blogger

Louis Delos Angeles is a Certified Public Accountant, blogger behind Investing in Philippines, and author of Investing in Stocks: Preparing for the future small amount at a time. Check him out in Google+ Learn more about Louis and his financial freedom advocacy here.

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