You’ve decided that you want to break free from debt once and for all. Congratulations! When it comes to paying off your debt there are a lot of things to think about, but deciding to get out of debt is the biggest decision of all.
While money is the most important part of debt repayment, there is another aspect that you should think about as well. Namely, how you will handle yourself as you make your way through your debt repayment journey.
Here are 3 things besides money that you will need in order to pay off your debt.
1. A Game Plan
Getting out of debt is going to take some planning on your part. In some ways sacrifices will most likely need to be made. You need to have a game plan. Get clear on how you will repay your debt.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
How are you going to pay down your debt?
What’s the plan?
What are you going to do if you come into a windfall?
What are you willing to give up?
This can be as simple as putting an extra payment amount down on my debt every month, or as complex as figuring out a detailed payment plan. It’s entirely up to you.
You need to think about how you are going to attack your debt. It’s important to get started, but it’s more important to have thought it through first. Paying off your debt is an important milestone and like any big achievement, it doesn’t just happen. It takes some thought, planning, and action.
Make sure that you have a plan that gives you enough flexibility so that you can stick with it.
The numbers are a big part, but your plan should focus more on what you are actually going to do in order to get out of debt. What little things can you do that will add up over time?
Stop eating out? Make extra money on the side? Work overtime? Cut some unnecessary expenses?
Give this plan some thought. Getting clear in your mind what you need to do to reach debt freedom is just as important as the debt repayment itself.
2. The Right Attitude
Paying off your debt isn’t an overnight task. It could take years to finally break free from your debt. Are you ready for it? Do you have what it takes? If you have read this far, the answer is most definitely yes.
The easiest way to get through a long journey like this is to decide from the start that there is no turning back. Make a commitment to the journey. You will be better off.
Here are some tips from someone who has already done the long debt repayment journey.
If you decide to make an extra payment on your debt once a month, never break the habit. Even if you have to pick up some spare work to make it happen, never skip a payment. The power of habit is worth cultivating. It will propel you forward when you feel like you can’t go on.
Remind yourself of how far you have come
There are going to be times when you will ask yourself if it’s worth it.
Anything that is great requires time and effort. Becoming debt free is the same. When you are on your journey of 1,000 miles, it’s important to look back and remind yourself of how far you have come. All those little sacrifices you make are adding up. You are farther along than you realize. Make sure you recognize all of the effort you have already put in.
No. Matter. What.
The best attitude that I have seen deliver success is the “No matter what attitude”. You decide right now that paying off your debt will happen.
No. Matter. What.
Adopt this attitude in your debt pay off quest. The slip ups and set backs that naturally occur will feel like obstacles but you can overcome them. Because you’ve got this.
No. Matter. What.
3. A Reward System
When you are paying off your debt, the road can be long. There will be times that you slip up and will want to stop. This is normal. Don’t panic.
I repeat: Don’t panic!
When you come up with your game plan, factor in a reward system. The frequency is up to you.
My personal favourite was giving ourselves a little reward every time we put extra down on our debt. When we would do that, we would treat ourselves to something small.
That small reward motivated us to keep going. Eventually it got to the point where we weren’t just making the extra payments for the plan, but also because we wanted the mini reward that came with it.
When you decide to pay off your debt it’s a great first step. A little thought and planning can go a long way to getting you safely to the finish line. Eventually you will be making that last payment and celebrating in true style.
Stay the course, it’s worth it.
Image Credit: Cameron Kirby