7 Ways to Stay Motivated to Get Out of Debt
- Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I get questions from readers all the time about all kinds of financial situations they need help dealing with. They run the gamut from simple questions about budgeting to very detailed problems dealing with losing a business, financial infidelity, career problems, and more.
Today I thought I would take the time to answer a reader question from "Annie" that I’m asked on a frequent basis.
Her question is short and simple:
“I’ve tried more than once to get out of debt and it never seems to work. How do I develop the discipline and stay motivated to get out of debt?”
In the post below I’ll tell you about what I’ve experienced, and I’ll show you 7 tips for staying motivated to get out of debt.
I’ve also included a list of resources at the end to help keep you motivated.
What I’ve Seen
Over the years I’ve seen a lot people get excited about becoming debt free, but they never follow through with the process. Most of them are pretty fired up about getting out of debt and start with the best of intentions. Then they take one or two small steps, and lose their motivation not long after they get started.
I’ve seen plenty of others make significant progress in paying down debt, but for whatever reason, about midway through the process they lose their motivation and gravitate back to their old habits, never finishing their get out of debt journey.
How to Get on the Right Track and Stay There
When you’re trying to get out of debt, it’s easy to get excited about the idea of becoming debt free. But actually getting the job done is much harder.
You have to get past the potential you see for yourself and let reality smack you in the face. You gotta realize that getting out of debt is going to take some work, and it’s up to you to stay motivated to get the job done.
Once you decide you’re willing to do the work involved, the next thing you have to realize is that it’s going to take some time. I think most people eventually lose sight of their goal of becoming debt free because of the time factor. It’s very easy for your initial excitement to wear off and let the passage of time demotivate you into going back to old habits. It’s just hard to continually keep the ultimate goal in mind.
With that said, here are my top 7 ways to stay motivated to get out of debt.
1. Get Mad at Your Debt
Getting out of debt is one situation where getting emotional can be a good thing. You gotta get so mad at your debt that you have a take no prisoners attitude. You have to decide that you’ll do anything it takes to get the job done, even when the going gets tough.
Maybe you could imagine yourself as a member of Seal Team 6, taking out your debt targets one at a time with precision until the threat is eliminated and you achieve your objective; whatever you need to visualize to keep you motivated.
2. Get Naked
I’ve discovered that a lot of people still use a credit card while they are getting out of debt. Most keep one “just in case” they need it for an emergency.
But here’s the deal. If you have credit available, you’re going to use it.
I tell my followers you gotta get naked.
What I mean is that you should get rid of all the credit cards and go naked with credit. It’s a concept that’s kind of scary. I remember how I felt when Angie and I got rid of our credit cards for good.
It was very weird.
In fact, I think the naked analogy is a good one, because you feel exposed and vulnerable. But if you follow the right steps, you find that you’re actually less vulnerable when you go naked with credit.
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