We’ve all heard the success stories of those “lucky” individuals who clawed their way out of debt. We’re all aware of the many debt relief programs and debt consolidation options available. We’ve listened to the financial gurus and may have even attended their weekend seminars. We got pumped up, high-fived everyone in attendance, and swore we were going to get out of debt. We then get in our cars, head home, look at our bills, and suddenly that adrenaline rush to overcome the struggle of debt is gone.
What were we thinking?? We can’t do this…our debt amount is way too high and it will take YEARS before we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Within 2 weeks we’re back to the sleepless nights, migraine headaches, and before we know it, we’ve slipped back to where we started.
Sounds a bit depressing but how many of us can relate to the above scenario? I know I can!
No matter what type of debt you have you can overcome it with some effort. You know I’m right- that’s why you’re still reading this article! Having problems with debt is nothing new, but it doesn’t have to be your problem anymore. It really does take a conscious decision to make a change. Once you get to that point and are committed to see this to the end, you’re about half way there!
After talking with many people who have problems with debt, and from my personal experience, I’ve put together some easy steps that may help you overcome your debt struggle. I’ve used these personally, and guess what? They actually work!
- Learn the word “no”. This two letter word is so powerful when it comes to your money! Say it to yourself, and say it to others, just say it!!!
- Stop going into debt! You’ve heard this before, but it’s important enough to repeat. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results. Can you really expect to get out of debt when you’re still going in debt? Of course not! Make sense? Get Rich Slowly says it best in “How to Get Out of Debt”. When it comes to credit cards, stop thinking you need them as a backup plan. If you think I’m kidding, think about your success rate so far with using credit cards as a “backup”. Still in debt? Have an emergency fund!
- Break up your debt into smaller pieces. This works well for those who have a large balances. Looking at the entire amount and attempting to tackle it may be overwhelming. If you get overwhelmed you run the risk of quitting before you even get started. Breaking it up serves as a way to overcome the overwhelming feeling of defeat and focus on a small portion at a time.
- Create a debt management plan. The key to this step is to make your plan realistic! I know you want to get out of debt quickly, but if you’re method is unrealistic you’ll be in the same position next year!
- Stay focused! This is where I believe many fall short. Everything is easy breezy until you are forced to stay focused and committed. Since you know this is may be the area you struggle most, challenge yourself to stay committed and stay focused on the end goal….getting out of debt!
- Have small victory milestones. Every time you achieve your small wins, celebrate! Save the big celebration for when you are completely out of debt, though. Small celebrations should be a part of your debt management strategy. It gives you something to look forward to in small timeframes which will increase your probability of making it to the finish line!
- Trial period. Very important step! Set up a plan and view it as a trial for a certain amount of time. If in say 3 months, you are not being successful, change the plan. So many times I see people continue to use the same plan that has proven to be unsuccessful…for years. It’s ok to change courses if things aren’t working. Just remember to continue to challenge yourself!
That’s all folks! You and I both know you won’t get out of debt by tomorrow, but if you continue to take baby steps you will be debt free before you know it! Good luck on the journey and don’t forget to share your progress with me!!!!
Photo by: Vectorportal