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The Hidden Key to Paying off Debt

Hello, friends!  My name is Laurie, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself and my journey to pay off debt.  I’m the newest contributing writer for Well Kept Wallet.  I’m also working my way (along with my husband) out of LOTS of debt.  If you want to read more about my story, you can find it over at my blog, The Frugal Farmer, where I blog about debt payoff, self-sufficiency and frugal living.  Today, however, I’d like to talk to you a bit about the tools needed to successfully pay off debt – one tool in particular.

One of the reasons I love reading the articles on The Well Kept Wallet is because of the success stories Deacon posts.  I never cease to be encouraged by reading the stories of all of the people who’ve reached the finish line in their journey to debt free.

Every story is different.  Every person or family Deacon features has a different reason why they got into debt, a different amount of debt, and a different strategy used for paying off their debt.  However, there is one thing that all of these success stories have in common.

You Can Pay off Debt if……

Whether you use the Debt Snowball, the Debt Avalanche, or any other method to pay off debt, the one key you must have is the willingness to choose debt freedom over the desire to choose immediate gratification purchases.  You must be willing to plow through your debt in a way where it’s obvious that debt payoff is a priority.

That means you must be committed enough to your plan for debt freedom that you make sure that every dollar of your budget has a specific purpose.  A value-based purpose based on what means the most to your family.  It might mean that you postpone having that new car for another five years.  It might mean that you say “no” to a trip, to the golf course membership, or to many other things that “everyone else is doing”.   It might mean that you have to work 16 hours a day.

Debt freedom is much more difficult to reach if you go about it willy-nilly, refusing to budget, continuing to spend on non-necessities and throwing an extra $5 or $10 at your loans here and there.

It takes commitment, and the willingness to keep your goal and the road to get there near the forefront of your mind. A professional athlete doesn’t just “fall” into a 3-year contract with a top-tier team.  They spend years and years, and hours upon hours perfecting their skill, working on their weaknesses and perfecting their strengths.  They make their sport of choice a top priority – always.  My oldest daughter is a perfect example of this.  At 14, she’s an accomplished artist and self-published author.  People often comment on how “lucky” she is to be so talented, but I’ve watched as this child spends a good 5-10 hours a day drawing and writing fiction stories.  She is successful not simply because of her talent, but because she spends hours and hours a day perfecting her talent.

It’s the same way with those who’ve been successful on a journey to pay off debt.  No, you won’t have to spend hours and hours each day perfecting your debt payoff plan, but you will have to make choices over and over for a long period of time that will push you toward your goal of debt freedom instead of taking you away from it.   You can do it – I know you can.  And Deacon’s “Debt Free in 18 Months” course is the perfect place to start.

Are you hoping to start a journey toward debt freedom?  If so, what’s holding you back?  Have you completed your journey to debt free?  If so, what’s your best piece of advice?

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