You’ve all read stories like this one about how I paid off my student loan in 5 months. Knocking out nearly $10,000 in 5 months is awesome, right? And inspiring. All that money paid off in such a short amount of time!
But stories like that don’t necessarily tell everything.
I don’t mean that I (or other people like me) are liars, either. I mean that before you can pay off your debt in some crazy short amount of time, you’ve got to become emotionally ready and committed to doing so. And that can take some time.
In my case, it took a long, long time. More than a decade. It took several false starts, a divorce, a remarriage, a long-term job loss, and some growing up, before I finally did what it took to get out of debt.
You’ve got to be real
Maybe nobody wants to hear that. But getting motivated to get out of debt (and then staying that way!) is a critical precursor to actually doing so. You’ve got to be ready.
In other words, you’ve got to really want it, and to know — deep down — why it’s so important to you.
You’ve got to admit that you’ve been making excuses for yourself — and then stop. It doesn’t matter if other people make more money than you, if you had an emergency, if you lost your job, if you live in a high cost of living area, or whatever. What matters is YOU, and your continued choices.
You’ve got to be real if you want to become debt free, and take responsibility for your actions and reactions.
Are you ready to get out of debt?
You’ve also got to want it badly enough that you’re willing to change your ways, your long-term habits, and your immediate goals. If you’re in a family, you’ve got to either get family members on board too (the best option) or forge ahead despite them (which is a very difficult row to hoe). You’ve got to be willing to say no to things that aren’t in your budget, and to get back on the wagon if you fall off.
Then you’ve got to actually do the work. Once you’re 110% committed, it can indeed go very quickly. (Especially when you’re super-focused and using a debt snowball.)
But you’ve got to get there first. And that’s the dirty little secret behind getting out of debt.
So, are you ready?