How to Talk Yourself Out of Debt

Jason Cabler

How could you possibly talk yourself out of debt? Could getting out of debt really be that easy?

Well no, it’s not actually.

It’s not as easy as just talking to yourself in the right way. There has to be action.

Even the Bible says “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23).

Use The Right Kind of Self Talk

But the right kind of talk can get you into the right mindset to get out of debt, or even avoid new debt. When you’re using credit cards, loans, and such to pay for things, it’s easy to use destructive self talk scripts like these examples (I’ve been known to use these in the past):

  • I deserve it
  • You’ve had a tough day, this will make it better
  • Everyone else has one
  • It’s on sale!
  • There’s only one left, It will be gone if I don’t buy it now

But if you actively take steps to counteract these scripts that are so easy to believe, you can start changing your mindset about debt and how you spend money.

Fight Back Using New Scripts

All you have to do is to learn to catch yourself red handed when using the kind of self talk that leads to spending too much, and fight back using new scripts that allow you to change your old habits into ones that are healthier and wiser.

Here are some new scripts you can use:

Old Script: “Go ahead, you deserve it!”

New Script: “You work hard for your money, do you have enough cash to buy this without feeling guilty?”

There’s nothing wrong with occasionally rewarding yourself. But if it’s going to add to a pile of debt that’s already a source of stress in your life, all you’re really doing is adding more stress. And the circle continues

Old Script: “You’ve had a tough day, this will make it better!”

New Script: “There is a better way to wipe away a bad day”

Buying something you like CAN make you feel better, but it’s a very short term lift. Much like a mood altering drug, it makes you feel better temporarily, then you want to come back for more. Find a healthy way to deal with a bad day, such as exercise, yoga, prayer, or reading a good book.

Old Script: “Everyone else has it”

New Script: “I can have one too, but I’ll save up for it first”

As human beings, we’re geared to want to fit in. It’s just the way our brains work. But spending more than you have to buy the new Lexus or your third Ipad in 2 years ultimately causes you to lose financially.

Trying to satisfy your need to fit in at the expense of your finances can rob you of your future.

Old Script: “It’s on sale!”

New Script: “Do I really need this? Was I planning on buying this?”

So many purchases happen because the store puts a sale price on an item to entice you. Never mind that you actually went to the store to buy something else.

And if you pay with a credit card, you’ll probably end up paying more than the regular price once you figure in interest and fees. You might be paying for that item for months or years to come.

Plan your spending using a budget, and only buy what you planned before you came to the store.

Old Script: “There’s only one left, if I don’t buy it now, it’ll be gone”

New Script: “I’ll be able to find another one when I have the cash to pay for it”

It’s so easy to talk yourself into a scarcity mentality. This is America dadgummit! If you can find one of something, you can find more if you look in the right place (Amazon, Ebay, etc.). Don’t talk yourself into buying something on credit because you think you won’t find another one. Develop a mentality of abundance and realize that you will always be able to find what you need at the right time.

Revolutionize Your Finances!

Learning to develop new scripts for self talk will revolutionize your financial life! When you’re able to effectively counteract those thoughts that keep you from succeeding financially, you’ll be able to change your mindset and your money habits permanently.

Learn More…

If you’d like to learn more, you may want to check out my online get out of debt course that will show you everything you need to know to change your habits and get out of debt.

Question: Do you have any self talk habits that keep you from succeeding? Leave a comment and tell me about it.

Article originally published on Celebrating Financial Freedom. Used with permission.

Dr. Jason Cabler is a Christian personal finance blogger, author, and speaker. He teaches how to get out of debt and live a debt free lifestyle through his Celebrating Financial Freedom blog and self study course. His book How to Budget: The Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Budget That Works is now available (more info here). He can be reached for interviews or speaking engagements by email, and can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.

Publication date: February 19, 2014