Can Gratitude Help To Get Out of Debt?
Gratitude can be very powerful, that’s for sure. What does gratitude have to do with getting out of debt? How are these two things connected? Having been more than $30,000 in credit card debt myself, I know what it feels like to be over my head. A daily gratitude practice has been an important part of helping me to get out of debt. In this blog post, I’ll share my simple gratitude strategies to start to get out of debt. And, if you stick with me, I’ll share with you how our family climbed out of our most difficult year financially and physically back in 2014.
Most Canadians are in debt
Sadly, if you feel overwhelmed with debt, you’re not alone. It seems that more and more people are living under financial stress and strain than ever before. And in Canada, at the end of 2015, ‘households held more than $1.65 in debt for every dollar of annual disposable income.’ (source). More and more Canadians are relying on credit to stay afloat and this habit has been rising dramatically since the early 2000s. This debt ratio is credit-market debt and does not include mortgage debt. It’s no wonder everyone is feeling the financial crunch!
What’s the first step?
The first step in reducing financial stress is a simple gratitude practice. When you are more grateful for the money you do have, the more will come your way. Start by giving thanks for every dollar and cent that comes into your life. It can be as simple as saying thank you when you find a coin on the ground. You might be thinking, how can I focus on what I do have, when I’m surrounded by debt and bills? I have found that time and time again, when we shift our focus on the money we DO have, instead of what we DON’T have, more and more abundance flows our way.
Like what you’re reading? Join me over here for my newest program, 30 Days of Gratitude to Create Wealth.
Belief is necessary
The second step is to believe that there is a way out and that your situation can improve (instead of getting worse). Affirmations of abundance can be very helpful when you’re feeling negative about your financial situation. When I read Lisa Nicols’ book: Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today, I copied the affirmations of abundance and wealth she shared. I put them up beside my mirror and read them daily before bed. At first, I didn’t believe all of them. After some time, they started to feel good and familiar to me. There were times throughout my day where I would recall an affirmation such as ‘Financial success is coming to me easily and effortlessly.’
Time to be creative!
And the third step is looking at different ways to create income. The side hustle is more and more common these days. In our hyper connected, social media world, there are endless opportunities to create more wealth and abundance in our lives. It’s about being open to the possibility that income can be created from somewhere other than your current 9 to 5 job. Start with gratitude for your current job or business, and allow yourself to be open to other ways of creating income.
Today, my family and I don’t have financial stress. About 3 years ago, we were in a very challenging financial situation (for the second time since my husband and I have been together). I hope that our story inspires you to take action, one day at a time, to get back on track financially. If you’re looking for help in this area, stick around til the end. I’ve just launched my newest gratitude program and it may be just what you’ve been waiting for.
Our personal story of job loss, massive debt and tragedy
On Dec 27, 2013, my husband was laid off from his job; completely unexpectedly. We hadn’t been paying attention to the signs that the company was in trouble, and as the lowest seniority in the IT department, he was the first to go. He had been working there for 5 years. It was a real shock. And like most people, we had less than $1000 in savings. My network marketing business with USANA was doing well, but certainly not well enough to cover his loss of income, or even the gap left once Employment Insurance would start to pay.
The month of January 2014 was incredibly cold and very stressful. Due to an administrative error, his EI application was not processed and instead of getting his first payment in 4 weeks, it was delayed by almost 8. For me, working on my business in a state financial stress was not great energy. We absolutely had to focus on our gratitude daily in order to get through this. Our credit cards were already close to the max from the year before when I had lost some business that I thought was very solid (common in our industry to lose a ‘leg’).
Feeling like we were on the brink of disaster
We were on the edge and even had to borrow from friends in order to make it through the first few months. Thank goodness we have amazing friends. Throughout this difficult time I continued to invest in myself and my business, which seems counter-intuitive, but I knew that if I stopped working on myself, we would be in deeper trouble. We had a strict budget and found really creative ways to make things works. We kept a positive attitude of gratitude and focused on my husband getting a new job as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, he did get a new role only 3 months after he had been laid off. Unfortunately, the financial impact of those three months was devastating for us. That summer, I knew I would have to be creative in order to get to USANA’s International Convention (a non-negotiable) and that I would have to create more revenue in my business, as well as find creative ways to quickly raise the cash I needed. Our credit cards were constantly maxed out, so in order to book flights and hotel, I had to find the cash to put on the cards and make room. I’m sure some of you can relate to this.
We kept it to ourselves
Only a few people in our lives knew the stress we were under, we kept it very private because as a leader in USANA, I didn’t want people to know that we were going through such a hard time (even though I was making a solid income in the business). I did make it to Convention that year. And when it came time to pay for our hotel room at the end of the week, I had accidentally paid my (large) cell phone bill twice and no longer had room on my card. I broke down in front of my roommates and admitted how tough this year had been for us and how sick and tired I was of being stressed about our finances.
More bad news
Unfortunately, the story doesn’t turn around just yet. In the fall of 2014, we were on our way to a vacation (paid for by my parent’s time share) in Myrtle Beach, and we hit a deer at 100 km/h. Thankfully, my husband was driving and thanks to his calm action behind the wheel, he saved our lives. His beloved Buick however, did not survive and we had to write it off.
The challenge was that both our vehicles were paid in full and now we had to buy a new car. We found gratitude in this situation because we all survived this accident completely unharmed. Furthermore, we ended up getting almost 7 times what we would have on a trade in from the insurance payout. ‘Un mal pour un bien’ as we were say in French.
And finally, the most challenging part of that year
The day we were going to pick up our new vehicle, I had a miscarriage and had to have a D&C. I ended up with a very rare bacterial infection that almost took my life. I was hospitalized for almost two weeks, and spent 7 days in a medically induced coma in December 2014. Amazingly, out of this most challenge time of our year came the greatest gift. I was unable to work for the month of December 2014, yet my business grew and I earned more that month than I had for the entire year of 2014. I truly felt the immense value of a residual income and the leverage of an amazing team.
One year later, things started to shift
In 2015, things turned around for us. My husband found another job, close to home; that he loves. I advanced to the next level in my USANA business in April 2015, which solidified our income. We were still living close to the edge, but started to have more money to spend on travel, which is what we love to use our disposable income for. Also, thanks to an amazing housing market, and our great credit rating, we were able to use a refinance for our home to pay off the large debt we had incurred. This finally gave us the breathing room we needed to move ahead. This is a one-time only debt solution and we are very blessed that we were able to make this happen (we have an amazing mortgage broker). I continued to focus on my gratitude practice and daily abundance affirmations.
What life looks like now
We are in the most comfortable position financially that we have been in since we met over 9 years ago. No longer do we have to ‘wait til the next paycheck’ to buy something, or put off fixing or updating something in our home.
For the first time in our lives, we can pay cash for our plane tickets and have money in a savings account. We have been able to do projects that we never had the money for before. The feeling of not being stressed about money truly is priceless. It took us three years to get here, and I’ve been in business for over a decade.
How will your story end?
If you feel like our story resonated with you, and you want to start to climb out of debt or simply create more wealth in your life, now is the time. I’m so excited to be sharing with you my program 30 Days of Gratitude to Create Wealth. This is the first time I’m offering it to the public and I’d love for you to join us!
In summary, this 4 week program will help you to shift your mindset from lack to abundance through building a solid daily gratitude practice. All of the program details can be found here. If you’re ready to join me, you can immediately SIGN UP here. The program regularly retails for $99 USD however since it’s the first time I’m offering it to the public, it’s only $69 USD. Registration closes Monday Oct 9th. It’s the perfect way to continue the Thanksgiving feeling once the holiday has ended (at least in Canada).
Wealthylicious Burlington is BACK!: Want to learn how to create wealth? Please join me for an evening of wealth, wisdom and wellness on Wednesday Oct 4th at the Burlington Golf & Country Club. This event is full of great speakers who will share their expertise. Key topics include creating wealth and the power of network marketing. We’ll also cover how to diversify your income and invest in your health. http://www.wealthyliciousburlington.eventbrite.ca.