Saying No! The Hardest Part Of The Debt Free Journey

debt free journey money mindset money struggles saying no

One of the hardest things we had to learn on our debt-free journey was learning to say no. Before we started this journey, we said yes to practically everything and anything. We constantly went out to eat with friends, went shopping like every Friday was pay day, and didn’t think twice about an expensive purchase if we really wanted it. We didn’t think about the financial ramifications. We lived in the moment and enjoyed every moment of it.

When we started our debt-free journey, we realized that our lifestyle was not working for us anymore. We were severely out of control and we needed to learn to say no so that we weren’t spending more money than our budget allowed.

It was not easy. It almost felt like we were breaking up with our friends because we could no longer afford expensive entertainment and food like we used to. We felt embarrassed and made excuses as to why we couldn’t hang out anymore. We weren’t brave enough to be honest and tell our friends that we just didn’t have the money to do the things we used to do. But with practice and courage, we finally figured out how to take pride in our debt-free journey and restrict ourselves from going overboard.


These tips helped us learn how to practice self-control and learn how to say no:

  1. We reminded ourselves of our goals and why we started this journey in the first place.

I love how Dave Ramsey says, “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.” We knew that we only had to say no to most things we wanted in the present so we could say yes to them in the future. If it wasn’t in the budget, we didn’t do it or buy it. This meant that we said no to spur-of-the-moment hangouts with friends, a 60% off shoe sale at Tory Burch, and take-out from a restaurant we were craving at the moment.


  1. Sharing our goals with our circle of friends

When we first started our debt-free journey, we were so embarrassed that we literally hid from our friends until they started calling us and asking if we were okay. When we finally shared what was going on in our hearts and the goals we wanted to accomplish, we were embraced with love and support. Being transparent and open with our friends allowed us to find creative and alternative ways to hang out that didn’t cost a lot of money. We would have potluck dinners, game nights, and attend free events in our area. Spending time with friends at home also allowed us to have deeper conversations that strengthened our relationships.


  1. We said no to some things so we could say yes to other things.

Making a budget before the following month begins meant that we told our dollars where to go instead of wondering where it went. Prior to our budgeting days, I would walk into Target and pick up a handful of things from the dollar spot that I somehow convinced myself I needed. My good intentions of only picking up a few things at Target somehow turned into a total that was $50 more than I expected. By making a budget before the month began, I gave every dollar an assignment and knew exactly where it was accounted for. When we first started, I set a goal to pay off $10,000 in one year and we would celebrate by taking a trip to Disneyland. Saying no to those small purchases in the store meant that we could save that money for a trip that would mean more to us than those $5 purchases could ever do.


Implementing these tips into your life can drastically affect the trajectory of your financial journey. With these ideas of self-constraint and discipline in mind, you can learn how to quickly save money and get out of debt faster than you’ve tried before. And remember, saying no to things today means you can say yes to bigger and better things tomorrow.