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How To Stay Motivated When Paying Off Debt

stay motivated when paying off debt

Hopefully those of you who have resolved to make this a debt payoff year are still holding fast to your resolutions. As I’ve started to notice the crowed of new gym users waning in recent days, I can’t help but think others might be struggling with ambitions goals set for the new year. From experience, I know it’s hard to stay motivated when paying off debt. Anyone can to anything for a short period of time, but how about when fixing a problem takes months or even years? Have a Reason for Paying Off Debt It’s important to have a reason for paying off debt. Of course less debt means greater financial stability, but having a more personal reason is a better way to stay motivated. Write down what you hope to achieve once you’re debt free. I want to pay off debt: so my kids don’t have to support me in retirement. so I can spend more time doing what I love instead of working. so I can handle whatever life throws at me without wondering how I’ll pay the bills. so I can take my parents on a trip they’ve always dreamed about. Your reason might be aspirational ...

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Five More Reasons to Become Debt Free

freedom from debt

Everyone knows that paying off debt is a great way to build wealth and ensure that setbacks and emergencies won’t send you into a downward money spiral. For that reason alone, kicking debt to the curb is always a great idea. Since paying of consumer debt a few years ago, I’ve also discovered some new reasons to become debt free. Great Career Opportunities When we were working to pay off our credit cards, there was no way on earth Jim or I could have thought about changing jobs. We were too dependent on our paychecks to seek out or take advantage of other opportunities. In fact, I really didn’t see lots of opportunity other than one foot in front of the other. I’m not sure if they weren’t there or if I didn’t have the flexibility to see them, but I know changing jobs was not an option during that period of life. Now that we don’t have consumer debt, it seems that job offers are pouring from the rafters. Besides my full time offer from the government, Jim was asked to take on a new management position a few weeks ago. While we most likely won’t accept either of ...

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Can You Help People Who Don’t Want to Help Themselves?

helping family members

Lord knows we’ve made our share of financial mistakes in the past. Once we got sick and tired of being chained to debt, we did something about it. In all honestly, we didn’t have the first clue about what to do or where to start, but by searching, studying, and asking for advice, we learned how to take control of our finances. Being in control gave us our lives back. Now, when I see someone struggle as I once did, my first instinct is to help. Sadly, I’ve found that almost never works. Can you help people who don’t want to help themselves? Change is Scary There are far worse things in life than being in debt, but since this is a financial blog, we’ll put everything in the context of money issues only. Have you ever wondered why people who struggle financially seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over? I think it’s because change is scary. Even if your life is in financial ruin, it might be all you’ve ever known. Sometimes, in it’s own weird way, dysfunction is comforting. As long time readers might  know, we’ve gone to great lengths trying to help family members who ...

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When Should You Consider a Debt Relief Program?

using debt consolidation

Households in the US carry an average of $7,400  in consumer debt. Whether indebtedness comes from having to use credit after loss of a job, a large medical bill, or from years of overspending, there comes a time when bills outpace income and something has to give. No one sets out to have crushing debt payments, but unfortunately that’s how many people end up. Sometimes those in debt need outside help to manage their situation, but when should you consider a debt relief programs? Can I Pay Off Debt on My Own? Before consulting a debt relief agency, determine if it’s possible to pay off balances on your own. Is there a way to cut expenses or increase income enough to make payments more manageable? Credit card companies may work with you by lowering interest rates or it may be possible to transfer high interest balances to zero interest promotions. Remember that promotional offers may charge a fee for balance transfers and there is usually a limited time period before interest rates go up. If you can’t pay off the balances in the allotted amount of time, or if your credit is not good enough to get interest rate reductions, it ...

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Being at Peace With Debt

paying off debt without stress

With of Americans carrying almost 12 trillion dollars of debt, it seems inevitable that we’ll all owe someone money at some point. I was reading an article about student loans recently and it listed a concept that many in the personal finance community don’t understand or support; coming to peace with debt. At first glance, I was ready to write the whole article off as one of those advice pieces that are about as helpful as payday loans or 18 months with no interest until I read further and decided that maybe being at peace with debt isn’t such a bad idea after all. Debt Can Control Your Life It’s very easy to let debt control your life. One example is after overextending yourself to the point where minimum payments are forcing you to live paycheck to paycheck. In this situation, the end of the money happens before the end of the month. You’re forced to dig further into debt keep the household running. The other example is when you have a sizable debt, something like a mortgage or student loan, and you can’t get over the fact that you’ll owe money for years. Even though these are considered “good ...

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