Are you working on a journey to get out of debt? Or, have you “been there, done that” before and failed miserably? I know we have. We’d been in, and out, of debt more times than Dave Ramsey has uttered the words “gazelle intense”, but it never stuck, and we could never figure out why.
Why was it that we seemed destined for financial failure? Why did debt, with all of it’s downfalls, seem to be so much more comfortable than financial freedom? It took us many, many years to find out, but finally, this year, we’ve come across a hidden tip that’s helped us to finally have it set in our hearts that we are dumping debt forever. What is that tip?
Action won’t work unless you’ve won the battle in your mind.
Yep, that’s right. All of the saving and side hustling in the world won’t pay off your debt and keep you debt free until you understand – in your head – why what you’re doing is so important. What are some of the lies that we tell ourselves that keep us from achieving our goal of debt freedom?
1. I’ll be fine. If you’re not seriously committed to killing your debt, you’re not ready, and you’ll likely fall right back into debt after you’ve paid it all off, if you even get that far. You’ve got to truly want to be rid of your debt burden forever if you’re going to succeed at the long and often arduous journey of obtaining debt freedom. If you’re not, don’t bother starting.
2. I don’t know how to be wealthy. This one plagues many, especially those who come from a long line of broke people, and for many years, it scared us too. What would life be like if we didn’t have money worries? Would we become a__holes? Would our broke family members shun us? Would all of the surplus money we have available turn us into meth addicts or shopaholics?
Funny thing is, even though we’ve got a long way to go, having more money has only made us nicer, able to help those broke family members more, and with an even more burning desire not to waste our money on stupid stuff. Don’t be afraid of change, my friends. When done right, change is good.
3. I am SO cool. In previous attempts to pay off debt, we’d get to debt free and find ourselves with a big ol’ head of pride on our shoulders about how cool we were that we didn’t have any debt. We convinced ourselves that being debt free meant we were already wealthy, and soon the game began again. What game? The “it’s only $500, $1000, or $2000 dollars” game. The game where we told ourselves that this amount was much less debt than we had before, and much less debt than “most people” had, so it was “okay” to spend the money. Soon, though, we would justify more and more purchases, and end up right back where we started: with an unmanageable amount of debt. If you’re going to succeed at this whole “financial freedom” thing, you’ve got to keep yourself humble and focused on your goals and your “whys”.
4. The job is just too hard. Or, the mountain is too big. Or, the journey is too long. Guess what, friends: If you’re going to succeed at this financial independence/debt payoff thing, you have GOT to decide in your head to commit to a journey – any journey – toward achieving your goal. When we began our journey in January of this year, we committed to one year of living frugally and working hard to pay off debt. Now that year is almost done, and after making some noticeable improvements in our situation (even though we’ve still got a long way to go), we’re even more motivated to continue our journey. Commit to trying with all of your heart for at least six months, and then re-evaluate about whether or not you want to continue your journey. But the key is here that you’ve got to make a serious and all-out, full board effort during the time period that you commit to, and you have to make it long enough (I recommend no shorter than six months) to see an impact.
Friends, a new year is just around the corner. What do you want your 2014 to look like, from a financial standpoint? Are you happy on this road of constant stress and worry about your money, or are you ready for a new and awesome financial life?