There are a million and one tips and tricks out there for how to save money, how to budget wisely, or how to pinch a penny at a time when pennies seem tough to come by. Some days though, I find myself asking not, "What else can I do?" but "How much longer can I keep this up?" I know in the big picture my burden is loads lighter in terms of total debt, but I still have a long road ahead of me. It's not that I'm sad or angry or even pessimistic; what I'm feeling sometimes, I guess I would call... financial fatigue.

I had the radio on today for background noise when all of a sudden my ears perked up. Someone had referenced a quote from Mahatma Gandhi that hit me square between the eyes: "You must be the change you want to see in the world." Let's all pause a moment to say "wow" to that. Okay. Now then. I have it on good authority that Gandhi was not referencing credit card debt when he released this idea unto the world, but I don't think he would mind if we apply it to a debt management construct. Here are my own recommendations about how we can channel our thoughts towards better selves and a better world...

Be open to knowledge. It can get a little bewildering out there, considering the sheer volume of websites and blogs and experts and books that explore the issues of managing debt and aggregating wealth. Be active in your search for knowledge (i.e., keeping up with CareOne blog posts!), but also be aware of what passively crosses your path and realize that opportunity. When I open up my homepage and see a featured item about how to improve my credit score, I generally read it, even if I've read a thousand articles about that same thing before. The content may be familiar to me, but more than likely there is something in there that I need to be reminded of.

Let go of blame. This can be an emotional trip that we're on. In my case, I started out being mad at myself ("How could I let this get so bad?") to raging at creditors ("29.99% interest rate?!?! [insert foul language here]") to internalizing it all over again ("I am poor and always will be"). Just forget it. Forget it and forgive it. Focus on the now and the power you do have to take positive steps. Feeling guilty just digs another hole. Sometimes when my mind starts going in a negative direction, I literally say out loud to myself, "Stop. Eyes forward." Crazy, but it seems to help!

Embrace the present. I find myself revising history to remember my pre-debt past as an easy and carefree time (not 100% the case) and imaging my post-debt future to be a paradise of freedom and light (a girl can dream!). In the meantime, I tend to see the present as a "blah" period, a time of conflict when I am fighting tooth and nail to keep up any semblance of a "regular" life. But if that's the case, I'm mentally reducing FOUR YEARS of my life to blah-ness! That doesn't seem like a great, or healthy, or productive idea, so I'm putting a stop to that. Don't let your vision be limited to checkbook registers, bills, and bank statements. Of course we have to keep on top of our finances now more than ever, but there also comes a time to set it all aside and just live.

Laugh. Just... laugh. It feels good.

How do you keep your emotions light? Any words of wisdom you'd be willing to share?

Related posts:

The Experience is Everything

Action is Eloquence

Learn to Forgive


Stacey Pavlick

Stacey is a participant in the CareOne Debt Management Plan, soon to complete her second year on the plan. She is also a contributing writer for the My Journey Out of Debt blog and Single & Settling In blog. She is currently an operations manager for a title insurance company and moonlights as a music reviewer for She combines her passion for writing with her passion for getting out of debt to share her struggles and successes along the way. Compensated CareOne Blogger

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