debt free living

How to Get and Stay Out of Debt

get and stayPaying down debt can be a real struggle of wills and motivation. You spend months or even years slaving away at paying it off; then one fine day, your emotions take hold of the show, throw a tantrum and say “I can’t do this anymore.” Next thing you know, you are the proud new owner of two handbags, three pairs of shoes and one dress that cost more than your rent.

For the next few days, you torture yourself with guilt at your slip up and the fact that you put yourself another $3000 in the hole. Why? How did it happen? Better yet, how the heck do you stop this pattern from repeating itself?

Stopping the pattern can seem like trying to find the answer to the meaning of life. But it doesn’t have to elude you – there are a few simple steps to get yourself on the proper path to paying off that debt for good.

Debt repayment motivation

Are you really all in to paying it off? Your why needs to be rock solid to weather the storm of debt repayment. Repaying your debt can take anywhere from 1 – 5 years, so it’s important to have a mantra, manifesto or reason why you’ve decided to get out and stay out of debt. Be sure to associate a feeling with it. Associating pain with something tells our subconscious – hey, time to change, let’s get out of this situation.

Let’s try it out – here’s a good one, “Being in debt stops me from travelling the world.”

Your motivation is the desire to travel. The pain is that debt stops you from travelling.

Hunt down your triggers

It’s possible that your emotions and changes in life are causing debt repayment problems for you. Instead of reaching for a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, you’re reaching for the plastic and trying to charge your problems away. Sadly, the fulfillment you’re looking for can’t be found in stuff (or in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s). The high is only temporary. So if you’re feeling like something’s missing and you’re unhappy – look to meditation, exercise or your favorite song (Mine is Fight Song by Rachel Platten) to get you motivated again.

Maybe you went through a bad breakup and to get your confidence back, you think a new pair of Jimmy Choo pumps will solve it all. It won’t. In the end, you’ll feel much worse. It’s important to face your feelings and deal with them head on. Enlist a few gal pals to help out if you’re really down in the dumps. Talk it out with them, tell them how you feel and be sure to tell them – no shopping!

Shopping (aka debt), food, alcohol and other vices are the easy, comfortable things we fall back on to avoid feeling our real feelings. It’s avoidance and keeps us stuck in our comfort zone. Which means – not growing, learning and changing.

Rid yourself of the wrong money mindsets

You’ve heard this one like a broken record – money is the root of all evil. Guess what? It’s not and it’s a phrase taken out of context from the bible. It actually says: The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Not money itself. Tony Robbins has a fantastic way of turning this statement around: Money is NOT the root of all evil; money grows from the ideas I create. Another good one from Robbins is: I am an abundance maker.

See? Much better. Instead of focusing on lack, you focus on the abundance of your ideas generating money. So take all those negative money mindsets you have and create a positive version. Give it a try, it works!

About the author

TK

TK is a Certified Financial Planner with over 15 years of experience in the banking industry. She started blogging in 2009 after the market crash. TK enjoys helping people plan their retirement, pay off debt, invest wisely, live on a budget and enjoy happy financial lives. You can see what she's up to on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.

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