| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

 

Are you dreaming of paying off your debt?

Do you gaze at the ceiling through the darkness of the night worrying about money and vaguely hoping that one day you will be debt-free?

Let me tell you something: you don’t have to stay with the dream. Living a life free of debt is not only possible, but it is a reality for many of us.

I know because, after the desperation of finding out that we were £100,000 in debt ten years ago, we paid it all off in three years and have been living debt-free for seven years.

(Debt-free except for the mortgage that is. And we have enough new investments and savings to pay this off if we decide to do so.)

When you are in debt, people throw different options to tackle the situation. They tell you that you could go bankrupt, enter Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA), go for debt relief orders or administration orders. There are ways to manipulate your debt and reduce, or even avoid, payment.

When it comes to paying off debt, I may as well belong to House Lannister: I’d always choose to pay it off.

Still, when we paid off our debt, and our story made it to the pages of the Business Insider, some reactions surprised me.

One reader said:

“Why would any sane person with that much debt ever pay it back?”

And another one stated:

“Stupid people. They should have filed for bankruptcy…”

So, you see, one questioned my sanity and the other my intelligence.

I don’t usually mind, but it has been fifty years since I was on the primary school playground and someone called me ‘stupid’ (and got away with it).

All because we paid off an obscene amount of consumer debt!

pay off your debt

I stand by our decision to pay off our debt. It should be your choice as well – manipulating debt teaches you a lot about playing the system. Unfortunately, it teaches you very little about money: how to make it, spend it and manage it. Paying your debt also creates healthy money habits that will keep you out of debt forever.

Commit to paying off your debt: this is a giant step towards a debt-free life and financial health.

We not only paid a truckload of debt; we did it the old-fashioned way. We made as much money as we could spend as little as possible and threw the rest on the debt. There were other options for dealing with the debt open to us. We could have sold our house, for instance, and used part of the equity to pay off debt.

The problem is, we did sell assets to pay off the debt in the past. And you know what?

We always found ourselves in debt again and didn’t achieve debt freedom.

This time, we chose to pay our debt off by increasing our monthly positive cash flow (in other words, we increased the money we had left at the end of the month after all bills had been paid) and putting it all against the debt for three years; without fail.

This commitment to paying off our debt the old-fashioned way, from current earnings and cash flow, was (is) the right decision because:

  • We learned how to control our money rather than allowing money to control us.
  • We learned how to make money and how to make money work for us; e.g., we learned how to build sustainable wealth.
  • We developed (and have maintained) key wealth-building habits.
  • I learned that any problem could be solved; my main task is to make my predicaments into problems.
  • Every time I remember that we paid off £100,000 worth of debt in three years, I blush with pride.
  • Paying off our consumer debt is a great lesson for our sons: a lesson about money, honour and love.
  • Paying off our debt was my redemption. My irresponsible, wasteful Self was sacrificed on the altar of consumerism to come out leaner, stronger, and so much more present.

By paying off our debt, I built myself into a woman I like and respect.

You should try this as well.

Commit to paying off your debt today! Commit with the single-minded focus of a hunter.

Photo by Mark Duffel on Unsplash