The first step in getting out of debt is to assess your situation. Over the years, working with hundreds of bankruptcy clients, I have seen over and over what I call the “Ostrich Syndrome”. The enormity a clients debt situation is so hard to face they instead ignore it.
We live in America. This is the “Land of the Free”. This is where dreams come true and anyone can make it. Others risk their lives to live here in pursuit of their dream. So, what does that mean for those of us who have or who ARE struggling? Who are burdened by our debt? In our minds, right or wrong, we are failures. We have fallen short. There is something in us that is deficient. And all of that brings us shame. Failure – shame. OUCH.
When we began this Financial Independence journey back in May of 2017 – our savings rate was abysmal. It was so abysmal that I really had no idea what a “savings rate” was.
I first heard the term years ago when I stumbled across my very first Financial Independence blog trying to find a way to quit my job and live a “laptop lifestyle.” On one site in particular it was discussing people who were saving 40% and 50% of their incomes. Which, frankly, I thought was insane. But at that time, I wasn’t looking at increasing our savings rate so it didn’t register what it meant.