For everything you say yes to you are saying no to something else.
Novel concept, I know.
Yet so many of us don’t realize that by saying yes to debt, we are simultaneously saying no to something that might be more important in the future.
Almost every day I meet someone who tells me they are struggling with money because they had to [insert justified excuse here]. I get it. But as a money coach, I also see the same stories over and over again. And more importantly, how they affect people later down the road.
One of the most heartbreaking stories came from a young Millennial family. They received the news they were having a baby and were stoked about the idea of being parents– usually a good sign, right?
Here was the kicker. They said no to working during college and said yes to massive amounts of debt. They said yes to a new car with a $300 payment and no to driving a modest used car.
All these choices led to the heartbreaking decision of a forced yes to immediately going back to work instead of staying home with their new baby. They couldn’t afford to stay home with the little one.
This is why it’s so important to pay off debt quickly.
Because you never know what saying yes will force you to say no to later.
Fortunately, there are a few strategies + reminders to help you with your get out of debt process.
Make temporary life changes
Look, when you are in the heat of paying off debt, working a couple jobs, not traveling, not spending any money on eating out or entertainment it can feel never ending. That’s why it’s important to give yourself a loving reminder that the sacrifices you are making today, are temporary. You won’t be working two jobs forever. You will be able to travel again. Your hustle will be rewarded.
Behold the power of small changes
Small changes make a huge difference. If you haven’t checked out the free training on paying off debt, you really should. Small changes have an impact and the more things you can cut out temporarily, the faster you will get results. Cut out the cable. Reduce your cell phone data package. Cook all your meals at home. Bring coffee to work every day. These little things will make a difference. Try making a game out of it. Create a competition with yourself to see how much money you can save each month. No one has ever died from not having cable….to my knowledge. 😉
Commit fully to yourself
Your life deserves your full commitment. Don’t let yourself down. If you set a goal, go all in. This philosophy will not only get you out of debt, it will build your confidence. This discipline will trickle over to other areas of your life and make you wildly successful. When I was paying off debt, I also started losing weight. It took the same amount of discipline to say no to coffee as it took for me to get my butt to the gym. Treat every commitment to yourself seriously. You are either building a habit of excellence or being a quitter.
Pay off the smallest debt first
You might know this strategy from Dave Ramsey, but it actually stems from psychology. The human brain is motivated by little wins. Some psychologists go as far as saying that the single greatest thing you can do in cultivating success is making your bed in the morning. Now I don’t know if making the bed is the greatest predictor of success, but I do know small wins lead to confidence. And confidence leads to goal achievement. Paying off the smallest debt first gives you a nice spike in dopamine and you’ll be more likely to stick to your plan. Personal finance is more about behavior than math. Don’t underestimate the power of small wins.
Paying off debt is by no means an easy thing to do. It takes a ton of work, a lot of sacrifices, and a commitment to making a life change. But, it is completely worth it to be able to say yes to things that truly matter.
Start saying yes to paying off debt. It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it.
Forever livin’ debt free,