Getting out of debt is an amazing feeling, but trying to, especially since many of us have never been out of debt our entire adult lives, may seem almost impossible.
Below are the main tips that worked for me to get out of debt.
- Realize it’s a special goal. To this day, no one that I know personally (and that has shared with me) is debt free. I think it might seem unimportant, but being aware that you are doing something out of the norm might help you achieve your goal.
We’re social people and a lot of times we do not want to do anything too far from the norm. Being “normal” has its benefits. It may reduce conflict and make us feel like we’re part of something. It’s understandable that we may unconsciously self-sabotage any efforts that require us to go against the grain. Be on the look out for any self-sabotaging behavior as you’re working towards this goal.
I recommend taking some time to acknowledge you’re going to be doing something special and to realize the positives of this unique endeavor.
- Stop taking out new loans or credit cards. It seems obvious, but it’s all part of the process. Keep an eye out for the urge to take out a new credit card while you’re working on paying off all your debt.
- Break the debt into smaller goals. For me, it helped to focus on one loan or credit card at a time. It helped keep me motivated because it increased my confidence and energy once I paid off one debtor.
- Increase your payment amounts. This technique is more powerful than you may think. I would sometimes make $10 or $15 additions to loans of amounts exceeding $10k and it really led to me getting them paid off quicker. What seemed like insignificant amounts, snowballed to hundreds and thousands of dollars. If I had even $10 extra in my budget, I would put it towards the loan I was trying to pay off. Every time I reduced my loan by $100 I was more motivated to put more money towards paying off the debt.
- Reduce your expenses and put any additional income towards paying off your debt. This is an opportunity to scour your budget and see if there are expenses that aren’t providing much value or happiness in your life. Find those expenses, get rid of them or reduce them and redirect that amount towards paying off your debt.
Keep your head up. Paying your debt off may take some time, but it can be done.