Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I would earn a little money with no extra cost to you. The opinions expressed are my own. Read my disclaimer to learn more.
This post is going to be a little more direct and in your face than normal. But I think it’s important to give a little tough love every now and again. Here is today’s big question!
Do you really want to get out of debt?
If the answer is no, then there’s no need to keep reading.
If the answer is yes, then it’s time to get down to business. (Maybe you’re already crushing it, but if you’re not, it’s time for you to make a change).
If you really want to be debt free, here’s what you need to do:
- Decide when do you want to be debt free?
- Get in the right mindset
- Do everything you can to make more money.
- Eliminate unnecessary expenses and reduce your overall spending.
- Work your freaking tail off and sell out completely to becoming debt free.
That’s the spark notes version. Let’s get into it.
What Do You Need to do to be Become Debt Free?
When it comes down to it, I think there are five things you can do to really make your debt free dreams become a reality. The sooner you start doing these things, the closer you are to becoming debt free. It’s time to GET IT DONE!
1. Decide When You Want to be Debt Free
All too often I get in my own way of accomplishing my goals. Have you ever sat down to get something done and an hour later you’ve done basically nothing? Yeah, me too. It’s really easy for me to get distracted and lose focus on the task at hand.
Like right now for instance. I’m writing this epic blog post ;). At the same time I’ve got my eyes on the baby monitor and my 7 week old daughter is squawking a little bit. The MN Twins are playing and it’s crazy tempting to keep checking my phone. And I’ve got a business meeting with a client tomorrow morning that I’m thinking about.
You need to focus your thoughts and actions. You need to make a goal.
The best way to get out of debt is to make a goal you believe in and can work toward every day! All great goals are written down and have a date attached.
Decide on a date that you want to be debt free. It could be 5, 10, or 15 years. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s a written down. The simple act of writing it down makes it more real.
Once you have your true goal, make a plan to start walking it out. Get lost in your task and moving one step closer to your goals.
2. Get in the Right Mindset
It’s so easy to tell yourself you’re not good enough or you can’t do it. We disqualify ourselves way too often, sometimes before we even get started.
Don’t listen to that voice in your head that creates excuses. Everybody who has ever accomplished anything had to start as an amateur and blaze their own trail. The truth is, the voice may never go away, but you get to choose whether or not to listen to it.
When we decided to start paying off our debt like crazy, we chose to believe we could do it and trust that God would be faithful in His promise to be debt free in five years. We had no idea what we were doing, we just knew we had to do something!
Our mindset created an iron will to become debt free no matter what it took!
When I started this blog, I had no idea what I was doing. Half the time I still feel that way, haha. But I stuck with it and kept working. I took one step at a time and I feel pretty good about what I’ve accomplished. I’m just getting started, but I’m moving in the right direction.
That’s the key. Keep your eyes focused on your goals and do whatever it takes to move forward.
3. Do Everything You Can to Make More Money
Getting out of debt is hard if you don’t make any money. If you’re not happy with how much money you’re making, find a way to make more.
I’m not going to lie, this can be hard and takes some hustle. When my wife and I decided to aggressively attack our student loans we needed to make more money. We got 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th jobs.
We worked almost all the time and sacrificed a lot. But we stuck with it. Our goals of being debt free were more important to us than our free time.
We didn’t let a lack of income stop us from paying off a ton of debt. If you’re new to our story, we paid off $73,000 in less than four years. There’s no way we could’ve done that without an insane work ethic.
How can you increase your income? There’s a lot you can do, it just depends on what your circumstances are as to what will work best for your family. You can get another job, ask for a raise, or start some side hustles.
Sell out to your goal of being debt free and before you know it, you will be.
4. Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses and Reduce Your Overall Spending
Starting a budget truly changed our lives. It was the road map for paying off debt. We needed to know where we stood before we knew what we needed to do.
I learned that I was actually digging myself into the negative every month before I started to track my spending. It was a shocking revelation that I needed to dig my heels in and change.
If you don’t know how much you spend, you need to start a budget IMMEDIATELY, I’m talking, like yesterday.
Once you are in the habit of tracking your spending, you can find expenses to cut out of your budget. Some easy cuts to make are cable, any types of magazine subscriptions, name brand groceries, and eating out too much. Eliminating these expenses from your budget frees up space to tackle your debt even harder.
Someone told me this week that they easily save $300 a month by simply not going out to eat at all. That’s INSANE! Imagine how much faster you could get out of debt if you paid an extra $300 toward your principal every month! That’s exactly the reason we stopped going out to eat when we were paying off our student loans.
5. Just Do the Dang Thing
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today.
It doesn’t matter how you got into debt or how much you have. What does matter is that you do something about it. Just do the dang thing!
The more you can do today, the less you need to do later. If you make coffee at home instead of going to the coffee shop, that’s $4-5 you saved today. No it’s not a lot, but every dollar counts when you’re paying off debt.
When I’m struggling to stick with my plan and annoyed that I have to work my 2nd job or I have to say no to a road trip with friends, I think back to my goals.
Our driving force was to start a family. Think about it like this:
What’s stronger, your desire to get out of debt and start a family? Or the the frustration that you need to stick to your budget? If you’re not motivated by your circumstances or your goals, then you haven’t become uncomfortable enough yet.
I’ve learned that sometimes it takes extreme discomfort for real change to happen. Don’t wait until your circumstances or so desperate. Start now!
You can always make excuses or justify being in debt, but that doesn’t make it go away. Only consistent, intentional action can do that. So JUST DO THE DANG THING!
Which Future Do You Want?
Picture your life 10 years from now. What does it look like?
That largely depends on what you do now. If you keep avoiding your debt problem, chances are you’ll still be burdened by debt and delaying your true goals and dreams.
Take action now that moves you closer to being debt free and living your best life.
Let Me Know in the Comments!
What does your best life look like? What are you doing right now to get out of debt?
Our budget and goals changed our lives. I hope it can change yours too. Tap the giant picture of my face to get your budget spreadsheet and debt log today.