I’m still in shock mode that I was able to pay down the $30,000 of debt I had when I started this blog in just under 3 years. The feeling is amazing and I’m trying to savor and enjoy it as much as I can because it doesn’t mean that all my financial problems have vanished.
My husband still has a little debt, so we are developing a strategy for that. Since we both had student loans before we got married, we each elected to maintain sole responsibility for our debt but technically speaking, it’s my debt too 🙂 and we need to figure out how we will get rid of it next.
If you know anything about me, those student loans will not be around in the next 5 years.
If you’re trying to figure out how you can pay off your debt faster too, you may feel like you’re locked out of this secret club after hearing about all these amazing debt payoff stories in the media. How did they do it and why aren’t you seeing those results? What’s the big secret?
I’m going to share 3 of the best secrets that aren’t really secrets about paying off your debt faster. These probably weren’t the answers you were expecting, but it’s the truth and it will actually help you get the results you want.
1. Ditch the Loser Mindset
Paying off debt quickly does NOT start with money.
If money was the most important thing, people like Kanye West wouldn’t be begging Mark Zuckerberg for financial help on Twitter and Johnny Depp wouldn’t be on the verge of filing for bankruptcy.
These people work super hard and make a ton of money. Yet, they’re still in debt so what makes you think that simply having more money will help you become debt free super fast?
What you need is a positive and determined mindset. Paying off debt is tough and you will crumble and fail over and over again if you don’t have the right mindset. What you don’t want to have is what I call the ‘loser mindset’ which destroys your efforts before you even make them.
Stop thinking woe is me, I can never ever seem to get ahead and everyone else is succeeding but me. When I started paying off my debt, I had just gotten off welfare a year ago and I certainly wasn’t making the money but I had an abundance mindset which helped me commit to developing a strategy. Even to this day, I am faced with financial challenges and instead of backing down and cowering in a corner, I try to figure out how I can realistically make my goals come to fruition.
I challenge you to ditch the loser mindset right now and see how much it impacts your debt payoff.
- Forgive yourself for the choices and decisions you made that led you to get into debt and don’t let debt equal your self-worth
- Envision your debt-free life and start planning for it in the back of your mind
- Break up your big repayment goal into chunks and celebrate small wins
- Stick to your strategy, but be open to attracting positivity and new effective hacks you can utilize
2. Make Sacrifices
To me, the best debt-free stories are when you get to hear about the journey and all the sacrifices that were made. It doesn’t matter if the person paid down $500 of debt or $500,000 – I want to know what they gave up in the process because there’s always a sacrifice involved.
That’s because debt payoff looks glamorous in the end, but there are a ton of dirt roads that will lead you to the highway of success. If you want to pay off debt quicker, you must make sacrifices and give up something so don’t let anyone tell you different.
For me, I made some small and large sacrifices. We got rid of cable of course, kept all of our old furniture from college, moved to a more affordable apartment, stopped dining out as often and spent lots of Friday nights in.
Some people do extreme things like live in their car or in a camper to pay off debt aggressively. That could never be me because I love having my space along with electricity and wi-fi. I did end up driving my car around for 2 years while it was missing two door handles.
I have no idea how the handles popped off but I had an unofficial two door for what seemed like forever and I just got it fixed last month.
During those times, I learned to embrace the journey I was on and find happiness with the things in my life that didn’t involve spending a ton of money so I could pay down my debt.
3. Invest in the Right Things
The final “secret” is to invest in the right things that will lead you to success. The most important thing you can invest in is yourself and the second is your financial health and wellbeing.
Invest time and energy into these things in order to live a better life. Heck, sometimes your investment may even involve spending a little money but as long as it helps you get out of debt, in the long run, it’s probably a good decision.
I see people spend money on all types of things from concerts, tattoos, and fancy phones to expensive meals out, happy hours, you name it. There’s nothing wrong with that and I’m not judging, but if you want to pay off your debt faster, you need to invest in yourself along with the right tools and resources that are going to help you.
This may be something as simple as prioritizing self care if you know you’re working a ton of hours, downloading a helpful app to keep you on track as you make progress, taking 10 minutes out of your morning to update your budget, or learning to master a new skill so you can increase your income.
I knew I needed to earn more money if I wanted to increase my monthly debt payments, so I started looking into some flexible work I could do to bring in some side income.
A lot of bloggers I knew were providing freelance writing services and since I love to write, I chose to try it out. Even though I freelance full time now, I didn’t become successful with it overnight.
First, I reached out to an established writer who was offering coaching services. I got on a 3-month payment plan and scraped together the money for coaching but by the end of the program, I had already landed two clients. I earned around $10,000 from freelance writing in 2015 which was an AMAZING return on the initial investment and really helped me accelerate my debt payments.
At the end of the day, the big secret is that there is no luck in this game 99% of the time. Sure, you may get lucky and find out that you won the lottery, inherited a home, or got tapped on the shoulder to work your dream job and earn a gazillion dollars.
Don’t count on any of these things happening to you because odds are, they probably won’t. Realize that it takes hard work, persistence, and strategy to pay off any type of debt but you don’t have to be miserable or feel deprived throughout the process.
Learn to embrace the journey, surround yourself with positivity, and enjoy the small wins as you get closer and closer to reaching your goal.
Check Out My New Video(s)
I finally got around to recording my debt payoff reflection video. Everyone’s journey is different, and I really wanted to share an in-depth account of what I’ve gone through and learned along the way. Keep in mind that I’m so new at this, but thought it would be fun to do a video and I actually had to record 2 since I accidentally stopped my first video while recording and didn’t want to start it all over again, haha.
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
P.S. – I created a new Facebook community for My Debt Epiphany readers so we can discuss all things money and personal development on a more personal level. Click here to join the group and I’ll approve your request ASAP!
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