You want to pay off your debt fast, I understand.
You have already cracked the most important secret to paying off debt and committed. You are all fired up and rearing to go. But before you take off, I will tell you about the things you should do.
Yes, you should know about them. It isn’t that I want to interrupt your groove; far be from it. What I must do, though, is to prepare you – paying off your debt is likely to take months and years. It is not all sunshine and joy, and there is heartache, disappointment, regret and doubt ahead as well.
To pay off your debt fast and not lapse and give up before the end, you better get acquainted with the things you must not do.
Here are the four things that will put a damper on paying off your debt if you let them in.
#1. Your commitment to paying off debt slips
Paying off your debt in record time demands unwavering commitment. The problem is that over time our commitment slips. Our minds convince us that a bit of indulgence now and then is not a bad thing; over-spending on a good bottle of wine today can be corrected tomorrow, and …so it goes. Until we wake up one morning and find that our resolve to pay off our debt has worn so thin, you could read a newspaper through it.
You must ensure that your commitment stays strong, and your focus never strays away from paying off your debt.
In my experience, this level of commitment is achieved best through positivity. In other words:
- Find positive examples; read about people who have paid a lot of debt or meet people who have done it.
- Focus on the benefits that debt freedom would bestow. Make a list of the great things you could do when finished paying off debt whenever you feel your resolve wavering.
- Motivate yourself by celebrating small successes regularly.
- Join a support group; or start your group.
If you fall off the wagon, get back on immediately. And the main thing – have a big, fat dream for after you pay off your debt. This dream is what will carry you through.
#2. You see paying off debt as a sacrifice
I’m not going to lie to you: to pay off your debt and keep debt-free, you’d need to change your money habits, including spending. Even more seriously, you may need to reconsider your lifestyle completely.
Don’t think of these changes as a sacrifice. Practice re-framing adversity and seeing the positive experiences it inevitably also offers.
Do you know what kept me going?
I started calling my debt ‘negative wealth’ and, instead of regretting the loss of opportunity, my heart did a merry dance every time I paid a bit more debt – I knew at a profoundly deep level that this way, I’m increasing my wealth.
#3. You let ‘money make you’
Do you know Macklemore’s song ‘Make the Money’? No, the song is not very well known, but it contains a sentence of timeless wisdom:
Make money, don’t let money make you.
Focusing on money for any length of time can easily make us lose sight of what is important in life. Please remember that many things are more important than money. Money is important only in as much as it nourishes our lives.
#4. You are blind-sided by (other people’s) money numbers
We had £100,000 ($160,000) worth of consumer debt. We have tripled our income in the last six years.
My numbers are mental. Every time you think my numbers, or the numbers other people share, are from ‘a universe near you,’ I’d like you to remember that I arrived in the UK in September 1990 with $20 in my pocket. Yes, really.
You want to pay off your debt. You have committed to paying off your debt fast.
Now you know what the main pitfalls on the way to debt freedom are.
You are ready for the next step towards paying off all your debt, and I’ll tell you what this is next Tuesday.