Eliminate Debt Now!
Eliminate debt. Easier said than done, right? Agreed. As we’ve shared before, we found that becoming debt free wasn’t exactly a linear process. After we got our debt to $0 we found ourselves in debt again a few times over. There’s tons of information available about how to make paying off debt as painless as possible, but in this process, we learned these three critical tips.
Why Did You Accumulated Debt?
Save for extreme circumstances, such as medical issues or natural disasters, debt is often acquired to fill a void in our lives or, as a frequent Oprah guest used to say, “Fill the hole in our soul.” The insatiable need to buy more when we know we can’t afford it is often because we’re unsettled about something in our lives. What that is for you, only you know. However, if we don’t learn what’s driving our behavior, we’ll likely find ourselves in debt again or worse if we even got out of debt in the first place.
As with any addiction, drug, alcohol or sex, the addiction is a symptom of something deeper, a manifestation of something else. Find out what that is for you and save yourself from being a repeat offender. In order for you to eliminate debt, you must understand why you acquired it in the first place. You know your weak spots but dig deeper.
This tip won’t only dredge up bad memories. You’ll be able to use it to help with the next tip.
What is Your Motivation for Paying Off Your Debt?
Simply put, why do you want to pay off your debt? There are millions of people who are 100% comfortable spending the $1,000 to $5,000 a year servicing their debt. For us, we’d rather eliminate our debt and spend that extra money on a vacation or our retirement. So knowing your “why” helps when it’s not so easy to stick with your goals. Simply creating a debt payment strategy and lowering your interest rates doesn’t make paying off your debts easy. You still need motivation when you’re tempted to fall into your old habits.
The motivation is different for each of us. If you have a really strong why then the choice is easier. Would you rather buy those nice shoes or would you rather eliminate debt and have a down payment on a house in which to put those future shoes? Shoes, house? Shoes, house? Hmmm . . . we thought so.
Our motivation for paying off debt was to save for retirement and travel. Whatever your motivation is, have a clear picture of it in your mind’s eye for when you don’t feel strong, or better yet, create an awesome digital vision board. You can reference this motivation when you need it.
Now that we’ve shared two psychological tips, we have a tactical tip to share.
Take this FREE financial personality quiz to learn more about how you feel about money.
Send It Before You Spend It!
As debt addicts, we did the opposite so many times. In fact, David would often use his credit cards instead of paying cash because he wanted the “feeling” of having cash in his account. Pay all your bills as soon as you get your paycheck. Call your providers, cable, phone and otherwise and have them shift your payment date to one that aligns with your pay day. David recently did this with AT&T for our cell phone bill. This strategy ensures we send it before we spend it.
Not only will you get your bills paid right away, you’ll pay them with money you have, which is one of the tenants of our book 4: The Four Principles of a Debt Free Life.
With these three tips, you’re sure to eliminate debt once and stay that way. For more help to eliminate date, learn the trick of money chunking that David discusses here.
More articles for you:
- 4 Principles of a Debt Free Life Podcast Series Recap
- Do You Believe You Can Pay Off Your Debt and Be Debt Free
- Make More Money and Pay Off Debt with These 6 Tools