What? You don’t even know me! You may be thinking. But alas, I do know you! Well, maybe not know you, but if you’re in debt, I know a little bit about you, because you’re probably a lot like us.
For instance, you probably never meant to have huge amounts of debt hanging over your head. The debt probably kind of crept up on you. I mean, I know you knew it was there, but how did it get so out of hand?
You probably, like us, always wanted to be better with money, but then things happened. Maybe it was a job loss, or some medical bills that didn’t qualify for medical bankruptcy. Or maybe you, like us, spent money to handle emotional traumas you went through.
Whatever the reasons for your debt, I know you’d, like us, rather it not be there. And I’m pretty sure that, like us, the thought of going on a journey to pay off your debt probably seems like more stress than you’d care to deal with right now.
But I also know that you can do it. How do I know that? Here are some reasons:
- You’re smart. You may not think you’re smart, but you are. Maybe not Einstein smart, or book smart, but unless you have no desire whatsoever for a life without debt, and unless you love living a life where the creditors call you and the bills are constantly tapping you, you’ve got to have at least some smarts in you, so give yourself some credit, okay?
- You have drive. If you didn’t. you wouldn’t be reading this right now. You’d be off at some fast food place blowing some more cash, completely and totally ignoring your situation for years on end. If you’re googling “How to Pay off Debt” and/or reading personal finance articles, you definitely have drive. It may be way deep down inside you, and you may have not felt that drive for a long, long time, but trust me; it’s there.
- You’ve got support. Maybe not at home, or with extended family or friends, but maybe you do. Ask them, be honest with the trustworthy people in your life about where you’re at financially and where you want to be, and ask for their help and support. Their answer may surprise you. And if supportive people don’t exist in your circle of family or friends, you’ve got a plethora of good people in the Personal Finance blogging world who will gladly mentor and support you. They know, because they’ve been where you’re at, and are either on their way to debt free, or have crossed the finish line and are living a life of financial peace now. Use the free info they share to help plan your own road to debt free.
- You’ve got reasons. You know you do. Write them down. Write down all of the reasons why you want to be free from the burden of owing others money. Write down every reason why you want to pay off debt. Is it for your sanity? So you can travel? Build a nice home for yourself? Have choices about where you work and live? Is it for your family? What are your reasons? Write them down, keep that list, and study it every time you want to give up.
The road to debt free is often long and strenuous. Don’t expect it to be easy, and don’t’ always expect it to be fun. Oh, don’t misunderstand, there will be fun points along the way, like when you make it through your first 30 days of budgeting, or when you pay off that first credit card or other bill. Those will be the days when your drive and your determination are big enough to push you through the next hurdle. And the next. And the next. Then, it’s party time. Then, the big victory comes The victory where you can scream, and yell, and jump up and down and celebrate, saying “I’M DEBT FREE!”
Come on, you can do it!
That was really an awesome and inspiring post for road to be debt free. Yes being debt free is strenuous and long journey. You need to be quite smart to handle your finances to achieve it.
And determined. That’s one thing I’ve learned is that determination is a huge factor in achieving debt free. Thanks, Rita!
What an inspirational post! The road to debt freedom is definitely a long one with a bunch of potholes for many people. Inspiration like this is sometimes all they need to kick them into gear! Thanks!
Agreed! Thanks, Joshua. 🙂
Nice and inspirational post Laurie! I love all your tips, but #4 was such a huge thing for me. I am such a visual person, that having that list was such a motivation for me to keep on and work towards my goals.
Yeah, it really helps us too, especially when we’re in an “I want to quit!” mode. 🙂
Debt-free is the only way to be! I’m so glad I never really had any debt. So stressful!
Nick, you are very lucky that you’ve not been through this. It sucks, quite honestly. You’re lucky that you had the smarts to handle your money well from the get-go.
Very inspiring! Especially love #2 and #3…it does take drive and will power. It won’t be easy but with that you won’t give up…it is easier when you are surrounded by supportive people who encourage your debt freedom journey.
So true! I’m not sure we’d be as far as we are without the support around us. Thanks, Andrew!
I love this Laurie! I like your point about drive, if people didn’t have the drive then they’d be filing for bankruptcy right now instead of taking the time out to read this. People deserve more credit for wanting to sort the problem out.
That’s right!! And I think people don’t realize that. Drive just to not file bky really is a profound achievement in and of itself!
Love this post! So many people get down when they really start thinking about their debt. However, it IS possible to eliminate it all!
Right, Michelle! And, they have more strength in them than they think often times too.
Oh please, go on:) Thanks for the inspirational post. Always good to read stuff like this.
LOL, you’re very much welcome, Girl. Glad you liked it. 🙂
I think one of the first things people who want to get out of debt need to do is STOP beating themselves up. Yes, they need to figure how they got in debt so they can recognize those triggers and avoid them in the future. But constantly berating yourself for getting into debt doesn’t help you get out of it. In fact, I think it just keeps you stuck there longer. Second, they need to find you because you do a great job of sharing your own very personal journey and keeping yourself motivated when it would be far easier to quit.
Funny. 🙂 Really, though, I think you’re right. People get so focused on the problem that they don’t recognize what they’ve already done to help themselves.
Love it! I found that once I started paying down my debt it became a snowball rolling downhill and I became kinda addicted to getting rid of debt. Took a couple years but it was the most rewarding thing I ever did!
That is so great to hear, Kyle, and I agree. Even though we’ve got lots left to payoff, we’re both SO glad we started this journey.
Laurie, thank you for a really motivating post. I was just thinking today that I do feel rather deflated and depressed about our debt at the moment, despite having a good month for repayment. It’s just such a long road. I hate to think of how long it will take to become debt free. But I know I won’t give up at least! Your post made me feel a bit happier today. I’m sending you a hug right now! 🙂
We’re right there with you, and I’m so very glad the post brought you joy! We’ll both be celebrating our debt free days one day, friend. Just remember that. 🙂
Great encouragement Laurie! I think for many the debt becomes so overwhelming they forget these things and may actually feel stupid for getting into debt in the first place. That creates negative emotion which stifles them from moving forward.
Exactly, Brian! I think that’s what keeps a lot of people in debt. They just get so focused on the mess that they are too overwhelmed to take a step out of it.
Yes, YEs and YES! You can beat debt. Inspiring post indeed and to see the affirmation just stokes the fire under the desire to be debt-free. The journey maybe ardous but I think its encouragement like this and the experiences of others that assure us, Its Possible!
Thanks, Simon. Yes, you’re so right: it really is possible. That’s the part we need to focus on. 🙂
Debt free is the place to be! Can’t wait to see all my fellow PF bloggers in debt free land. Let’s turn that compound interest force on our side!
Can’t wait to see you there either, Brian – what a day that will be. 🙂
Awesome motivational post, Laurie!! It can be a little challenging to stay focused sometimes since temptations arise on an almost daily basis, but this is a nice “Go Get Em, Tiger!” talk. Thanks for that. 🙂
No problem, Anna! Have a great day. 🙂
The support reason is a very good one, because no matter how difficult it can be to explain to our friends and family about our finances, it´s so easy to find comfort and support in this superb PF blogging community:-)
Ain’t it though? I totally agree, NG. A great bunch of people all the way around. 🙂
Same here, Chris. We had finally had enough. We got sick and tired of being sick and tired, as they say.
I want a party to celebrate being debt free. I have a very hard time staying focused and fending off discouragement so I think I will plan a personal celebration to give myself something to look forward too.
What kind of wild party does one have when they become debt free?
Love that idea, Jane! I’m not sure what we’re going to do, but I have grand visions of us flying every one of our PF blogging friends up here for a grand party too. Apparently I’m convinced that we’re going straight from deep in debt to millionaire status. 🙂
Thanks for the great post. I continue to be absolutely amazed at how supportive and generous the pf bloggers are. I just kind of stumbled across you guys and it’s been very helpful. I’ve only come across sincere, helpful and very generous input from the pf bloggers. Thanks much!
Jim, that’s awesome!!! I’ve found the same thing. It really is amazing. When we started this blog, I hoped we would be helping people, but I didn’t expect the outpouring of support and encouragement that we’ve gotten from the PF blogging world. It truly is something to be admired.
I seriously cannot WAIT for the day that I can write about having even one debt totally paid off. I’m totally looking forward to the day I can announce to the world what we accomplished 🙂 Great post Laurie!
Catherine, we are right there with you. And I know that both of our families will have those days of celebration one day. 🙂
Thanks for the motivating post! This is a great reminder why it isn’t impossible to get out of debt.
That’s right, and it has very little to do with money. 🙂
This is a really motivating post! Paying down debt – even huge chunks of it – is definitely feasible, especially with a long-term plan. Thanks Laurie!
You’re so right, DC – it can be done!
Sweet. This is great! I totally agree that it can be done if you put your mind to it!
Yep, just takes some good old fashioned determination. 🙂
I love the part about support. You’re never as alone as you think you are. Like you say, even if friends and family aren’t supportive or simply don’t know how to help, there’s so much information and so many real people you can connect with online who are going through similar things. Although we all feel unique, and we are certainly unique in little ways, our situations are almost never unique. There is always someone who’s been through what you’re going through and can offer a helping hand.
Great points, Matt. One of the ways in which Rick and I feel so encouraged is by the many people who’ve said “OH, we’ve been there. You’ll get through it, just like we did.” Knowing others have crossed that debt-free finish line definitely gives us the strength to press forward. 🙂
I totally think you can pay off debt if you are determined enough. It’s never easy but it’s worth it in the end.
I totally agree. There is much more strength in determination than there is in money.
Thanks for this article. Isn’t it cool how your attitude & mindset can have such a positive impact on personal finances. Like you said, you don’t really need to know much about a person’s situation to know that it can be done, if he or she is willing to acknowledge they are smart enough, motivated & have support.
Glad you liked it, DB40! Yes, it’s nice to know that money isn’t the only part of the paying off debt equation, isn’t it?
That’s exactly how I started, by Googling “how to get out of debt” and I found this wonderful world of PF people. Thanks for linking to my post. I can’t wait until you have your own party time announcement.
Me too, Kim! What a great day that will be. 🙂
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