When you hear the word "debt", whats the first thought or
feeling that comes to you? For most people debt is "bad" or
it becomes the "enemy" and is something that should be
avoided like the plague.
Having debt does not make you a bad person. The more a
situation is judged as being bad, the worse it gets. It's
the judgement that you have around debt, that will keep you
feeling "stuck". It's the judgement that brings out the
anxiety, the fear, the stress, the knot in the stomach.
It's the old success principle: what you focus on expands.
So what are you focusing on? Getting out of debt is an
inside job first! What that means is taking 100%
responsibility for your debts and admitting to yourself that
you have an obligation, and knowing and believing that you
will fulfill that obligation, by paying your creditors as
quickly as possible.
No one wants to be stressed, or worry about living beyond
their means. Most people are very uncomfortable talking
about the subject of money and debt. And since the subject
of money management is NOT normally taught in schools,
where do we learn about it?
From our families, friends, co-workers etc, tv shows. These
are people who mean well, and it's been my experience
that they are usually passing along information that may be
outdated, and no longer relevant for the times that we
currently live in and may or may not apply to you and your
life. It is THEIR opinions and beliefs.
Once again it doesn't make it a "good" or "bad" thing. The
answer is to find a solution that "works" for you and your
particular situation. Keep in mind, that once you decide to
become debt free, it will become crystal clear that not
everyone thinks that becoming debt free is a good idea.
Everyone from your local bank to your grocery store, want
you to buy on credit. Realize that "credit" is a tool that
can serve you, or NOT serve you. Here are some tips for
becoming debt free.
1) Admit that you have debt, and are willing to become debt
free. This is the most important step and is part of being
100% responsible, and being open to finding a solution.
Without knowing where you are now, you are probably not
going to be able to plot out a plan or map to where you want
2) Don't add any more debt. This is all about changing
habits, beliefs, and attitudes about buying on credit. Your
attitudes about money/credit may have served you up to this
point, and the good news is that you can now make new
choices that support you. Remember "life" happens and
there may be times when you may have to use credit. If this
should happen DON'T beat yourself up. Just continue down your
path of debt reduction and the ultimate goal of financial
3) Start to pay off the debt NOW. This seems like an
and simple step, and it's simple to do and also simple NOT
to do. Afterall we are human beings, and change is not
something that we are very comfortable with. Put all your
debts on paper, so that you are clear about what you owe.
One of the best strategies to debt reduction is the
"something-something" principle. Focus on paying (1)
creditor off at a time. This will keep your energy
concentrated, and your debt reduction efforts will be more
effective, than trying to pay off everyone at one time.
4) Take "extra" money and apply it toward your debt. Where
can you get the "extra" money? Start to watch where you
spend your money. For example: using coupons, or
a warehouse club, can save you thousands of dollars over
course of a year. These savings can be used to pay down
debt quickly and effortlessly.
Keep in mind that your past doesn't equal your future. Look
at your current financial situation as a "learning"
experience, and an area that you are able to improve
on....versus a place that you are judging yourself for a
mistake. Many people just like you have been able to
eliminate their debt. The good news is....so can you!!!!
?2004 All Rights Reserved
Author Info Box:
The author, Mario Castagno is the webmaster of
a resource for debt reduction programs.