I think it is time for a bit of honesty here. I have been writing on Debt Roundup since 2012. While I have not been around for a long time, I have seen my fair share. I have the luxury of getting comments and questions from many different people. Some people are stuck under massive amounts of debt, while others are thriving and growing their wealth. I like the diversity and I think it adds to this community. One thing that I have done on DR is be completely honest with you. I stirred the pot when I wrote about love and money, as well as when I put up my latest purchase with a loan. It pissed off some and encouraged others. I am OK with that because I was honest with you. Now, I am going to be even more honest.
Don’t Expect Much If You Don’t Change
I want to talk about getting out of debt in this post. It is a journey that many are currently going through or have been through before (myself included). Debt is a very simple concept when we break it down. You spend more than you make. You output more than you input. No matter how you slice it, debt is easy to understand. If it is such an easy concept, then why are so many of us in debt? What is causing us to spend like hungry hyenas? I think it all comes down to one simple thing. Your mentality!
Each person handles their finances in a different way. That is understandable. We are all different and we do different things. For that reason, we all get into debt for different reasons. Some of us spend like crazy on our credit cards, others borrow in order to fund their future earnings, and some get into trouble with health issues. No matter the reason, the approach you take with regards to your finances all comes down to your mentality.
Getting Out of Debt
I have talked with so many people that desperately want to get out of debt. I completely understand why. When I realized that it would take around 40 years to pay off my debt, it lite a fire under my ass. There was no way I was going to be paying on my consumer debt for over 40 years. No thanks, not for me!
I consider getting out of debt a two fold process. You not only have to pay off your current debts, but you also have to figure out why you got into debt. You have to look at your mentality and change it. There is no other answer.
Change Your Mentality = SUCCESS!
Don’t Change Your Mentality = FAILURE!
I have seen many people work so damn hard to get out of debt, only to slip back in because they didn’t change their mentality. They didn’t address the root cause of their debt addiction. For me, I was a spender. I didn’t pay attention to how much I was spending. As long as I could cover my minimum payments, then I thought I was OK. I never knew what I was doing. I didn’t focus on saving any money because I was too busy enjoying my life and spending like there was no tomorrow. I was trying to keep up with the
Kardashians Joneses. I wanted the image that spending money brought. I wanted people to talk about all of the things that I had. I thought I was cool. Damn, was I wrong!
Flipping from Spender to Saver
I was an all out spender before I started my debt repayment journey. I admit it and I have told everyone that before. I had a spending problem, but I also had a saving problem. I didn’t save any of my money. I bought cool gadgets, a Jetski, and all of this other crap. I also funded my business on credit cards. I made mistakes, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t right the wrongs.
When I started paying off my debt, I wanted to learn how to save. Many will argue about saving while paying off debt, but it wasn’t an argument for me. The only one that I had was how much should I save. That is why I came up with my debt/saving allocation method which I still advocate to many to this day. The reason why I wanted to do both was because I needed to learn how to save. I needed to understand that feeling that you get when you see your bank account growing. I needed to get the warm and fuzzy feeling when I saved money and take that feeling away when I spent money. I needed to flip my mentality from a spender to a saver.
It took 4 long years to pay off my debt. I could have paid it off sooner, but I was focusing on saving and paying down my debt. I don’t care what you say about my method. It worked for me! I chose something that worked with my situation and how I wanted to reach my end goal. It might not be the way you paid down debt or are currently doing so, but it still worked. I am here today with a large amount in savings and my net worth on the rise. I am where I am supposed to be. The only way I got to this point was because I changed my mentality.
So, if you are in debt and working hard to pay it off, then make sure you understand what your goal is. Why did you get into debt in the first place? What are you going to do when you get out? Have you changed your mentality about how you handle your money?
Your mentality is extremely important in your debt repayment process, but also in how you live your life afterwards. Make sure you understand it and change it!
What do you think about this concept? Were you able to change your mentality when it came to your finances?
Photo via StockMonkeys.com
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