Upon entering the debt-free (or rather the debt freedom-seeking) community, I realized there are a lot more people who struggle with paying off debt than you may realize. There are thousands of personal finance influencers online and Instagram profiles documenting financial success. Seeing all of this success made me start thinking, do people really have a hard time paying the debt off, or are we each struggling to find the right path for our own family?
Do You Really Struggle With Paying Off Debt?
First and foremost, there is no doubt paying off debt is a struggle. There are so many things that stand in your way of being debt-free in this consumer-driven society. However, if you are paying off your credit card in full each month, but still holding on to auto loan debt, your focus may be misinformed. What most people are struggling with isn’t making the payments themselves but lacking a plan.
So, the thing to ask yourself is do you struggle with paying off debt or do you struggle with one of the following?
- Organization and/or planning: You struggle with putting together an attack plan for truly changing your finances.
- Resolve: You struggle with setting your mind to the idea of being debt-free. You have to set yourself up for success by making up your mind.
- Impulse: You struggle with controlling impulses that impact your finances (i.e. shopping, addiction).
It seems that oftentimes before people face their debt they need to face the above issues. Really, people don’t struggle to pay off their debt. They struggle with rehabilitating the behavior that got them there in the first place.
Things to Do
So, that is really where you start if you want to get off on the right foot on your debt freedom journey. You take a look at your actions, bad habits, and a sincere look at your finances. Consider some of the following tips to help you get started.
- Redefine your relationship with finance. Make sure you know what your goals are and remember money isn’t everything. Talk to your friends and family about your financial situation and what you are doing to improve.
- Get help. There are debt counseling services available. If you struggle with impulse-control or shopping addiction, therapy is also something to consider to rehabilitate your relationship with money.
- Continue doing things that make you happy. If there is one thing I have learned throughout my own journey it’s that if you are not happy day to day you will not meet your goals. You need to budget some money for fun things and things you enjoy to stay on track.
When it comes down to it, there are families with a single income paying off six-figure amounts of debt on Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, and just about any other social site out there. How? They have made the decision to really do it. They made a plan, resolved to stick to it and work through any issues along the way.
So, readers, do you really struggle with paying off debt, or are you struggling with something else?
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.