Paying off debt is hard. Really hard. Anyone who’s ever tried it, even those who’ve succeeded, would likely tell you that it would’ve been easier to stay in debt. In the battle for debt freedom you are battling old habits, old mindsets, and often you’re battling at least a few people who tell you that you shouldn’t do it or that you can’t do it. So what weapons can you use in order to overcome the battles that try and keep you in financial bondage? Here are a few ideas:
Keep the day of victory in your thoughts
It doesn’t matter how big your mountain of debt is or how long it will take to whittle it away: the time is going to pass anyway. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years away, it’s going to come. And when it comes, do you want to still be in those same chains that money has held you in for all these years, or do you want to be free (or at least, free-er than you were)?
Keep your day of victory clear in your mind. Take some time, daily, to imagine your life without debt. Where will you go? what will you do? Who will you help? Hold tightly onto that dream and don’t let anyone or anything steal it away from you.
Expect challenges and setbacks
Just get it into your mind right now that you will face challenges and setbacks. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to lie down and take them, but if you’re playing defense in your road to debt-free game playing defense in your road to debt-free game, you won’t get as discouraged or defeated if you’re prepared to face those challenges and setbacks head on. It’s the element of surprise that takes a team down.
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Celebrate the small victories
Give yourself a pat on the back for every day that you make a serious effort toward debt-free. And for every time you say “no” to an unnecessary purchase, even if it’s only 19 cents. I can’t emphasize this enough. Every dime you don’t spend is one more dime toward reducing your debt, and let me tell you, those dimes add up real quick.
Recommended Reading: Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After
Surround yourself with like-minded people
Finding frugal friends will only serve to accelerate the reaching of your goal and empower you to stay on course. Hubby and I are blessed with the greatest group of loving, giving friends who all have the same goal: debt freedom and financial peace. That means that when we plan a gathering or an outing, everyone on the list is working to find things that we can do together that are fun and cheap or free. No one says “Hey, let’s go to this restaurant”. Instead, they say “Let’s gather at your house, I’ll bring the meat, you make a side dish or two.”
It’s awesome! And knowing that our closest group of friends will always work to encourage and support our journey gives us a whole lot of strength and a whole lot of peace.
Look on the Internet too for other stories of people who’ve gone before on the debt-freedom journey. They too will inspire and motivate you.
For Motivation: The Power of Freedom
Remember that if you give it your all, it likely won’t take as long as you think it will
Story after story that I’ve read about those who’ve accomplished debt-freedom have verified this truth. When we decide to be truly good stewards of God’s money (and it’s ALL His money), He will bless and accelerate your efforts because you’re in line with His will.
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Know that it’s never too late to start
No, you’re not too old, too in debt or too late to start making a better financial life for yourself. Start today. Every step makes a difference.
Recommended Reading: Start Late, Finish Rich: A No-Fail Plan for Achieving Financial Freedom at Any Age (Finish Rich Book Series)
With commitment to take little steps toward financial freedom every day, and commitment to continuing education, you can do this.
What are your crucial tools for winning your war against debt?
Paying off debt is hard, and takes sacrifice. The best tools I found were defining a “Why” what were the reason that were important to me to put myself through the hard work. You need to be working towards something, some goal or it can easily fall off. Have an accountability partner, involving your spouse, children, family, friends, etc. We all work better as a team. Getting your mental ducks in a row first will help you succeed for the long run.
Totally agree about getting your mental ducks in a row. When we started our journey we had no idea how much the emotional/mental side of things was a factor in our debt load. Thanks, Brian!
It seems counter-intuitive, but I like to build in small treats to keep myself on track. For example, I’ll bake a batch of homemade cookies if we’ve met all of our savings goals. The trick is to make sure the “reward” is free or either contributes to our savings goals in some way. I never feel deprived and we still meet our goals. 🙂
We are in our mid fifties…and my husband does not have a problem with debt. I do. Please pray.
ps what is a spammer”?
Hi Tina, thanks for commenting!! I will pray. Keep working on it. We’ve got a post on Fruclassity today that might help: http://www.fruclassity.com Also, this post might help:
Where did the picture come from?
Hi again! The pic is from a site called Pexels. A spammer is someone who leaves comments just for the sake of causing trouble or blocking up a site’s system.
I think knowing your Why, not letting the obstacles stop you, and those small wins are very important to paying off debt. Even now that we’ve got our consumer and student loan debt paid off, when our budget goes awry, it can feel like a fail. And it can be tempting to just fall into that higher spending pattern, but it’s essential to not let those bad months stop you. April is a good example of this for us. We had done a great job of staying the path and keeping expenses low up until last month. The best thing we can do is start fresh and try to do better in May.
“it is essential not to let those bad months stop you.” Couldn’t agree more. We had an expensive April too. Lots of people did, it seems, but May will be better. 🙂
Expecting setbacks is really solid advice. When it comes to money, rarely does it work out. Whether it’s paying off debt or some other goal, there’s just a whole lot of variance in life that will ruin your plans. So expecting those setbacks and not letting them crush your motivation is really important.
Thanks, DC! Appreciate you weighing in. Hope you are enjoying today’s nice summer weather, LOL. 🙂
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