I received an email that asked what it takes to get out of debt. I don’t think there is an easy cookie cutter answer to this. Yes, it means spending less than you’re making and making payments toward the debt. That’s the simple answer, but what I’ve found is that for the majority of those who pull themselves out of debt, they have embraced a compelling reason to get out of debt.
There is more to overcoming debt than merely wanting it to go away and knowing how to accomplish this. Before any debt reduction plan can work, you will have to be committed to get out of debt. That is, you have to find a reason that is more powerful than not doing anything at all. Not doing anything at all may seem like a silly response, but it’s what most people do. While not doing anything may seem to be the worst choice, the real life problem is that people have the imagine that tackling debt takes a lot of time, effort and pain to accomplish. The pain associated with being in debt has to conquer the pain they imagine it will take to get out of debt.
Many of the people that contact me seem to be looking for a quick and easy fix. They keep searching for a quick fix and don’t do anything while searching for it. While I don’t believe getting out of debt has to be as painful as many imagine, it does take dedication and a change in current lifestyle.
How difficult this change will be depends heavily on how committed the person is to getting out of debt. If they have truly made a commitment, they’ll find that saving more of the money they make is actually quite simple (although it may take come practice). On the other hand, if a person isn’t fully committed to erase all their debt, or they’re simply searching for an easy way out with no effort expended, they’ll likely find the necessary steps to get out of debt much more difficult, if not impossible.
What I think it comes down to for the vast majority of people is that in order to be committed to reduce their debt, they have to find that compelling reason that allows them to face the imagined pain the debt reduction will cause. There has to be something that has finally made them realize that the current state of affairs can’t continue. It can be as simple as realizing that their current budget isn’t working or as urgent as having creditors knocking at their door or telephoning them at all hours of the day and night. The ultimate reason isn’t near as important as that whatever that reason is will compel the person to tackle the debt. Once a person has a reason, they can use it to motivate and to do what it takes to reduce the debt in a systematic manner.