What is stopping you from paying off your debt? Most all of us desire to be debt free, but few achieve that goal or desire. What are the roadblocks to debt freedom that are keeping you from taking that first step – and from reaching your goal – of being debt free? Today we’ll talk about two of the biggest roadblocks that hinder people from working toward debt freedom, and how to overcome those roadblocks.
Roadblocks to Debt Freedom: The Battle of the Mind
Likely the most predominant of the roadblocks to debt freedom is one’s mindset toward either the debt itself, or their ability to achieve debt freedom. Especially for those deep in debt, a journey to debt freedom can seem like an impossible dream. But as the old proverb says “One begins moving a mountain by first carrying away the small stones.” Or, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
These are mantras our family remembers often as we work on our journey out of a large amount of debt. Discouragement and doubt do come, but at that point, we remind ourselves that every step we take toward debt freedom, no matter how small, puts us in a better place than we were before that step. And those little steps do add up. I read one time on a personal finance blog that the family was getting out of debt “one dime at a time”. A dime may not seem like a lot of money when you’re facing a huge pile of debt, but the fact of the matter is that those dimes and nickels do eventually add up. It’s important to remember too that every dime you put toward debt today, puts you in a better financial place tomorrow. Forward progress is the goal, no matter how small that forward progress may seem.
Don’t let the doubts and negative message of your mind convince you that debt freedom isn’t possible for you. Instead, tell yourself every single day that you can achieve debt freedom, and that you deserve to live a life free of the bondage of debt.
The Art of Discipline
“Faith without works is dead” as the old saying goes. Once you’ve won the battle of the mind concerning your debt, victory will only come if you discipline yourself to take the action steps that go along with your goal of debt freedom. Just do it, as the old Nike commercial told us. Take that $10, $20, $100 or $200, and make that extra payment on your debt right now. Then do it again, again and again as those extra bits of money come into your hands. Make a promise to yourself that when you don’t want to take those action steps that you’ll do it anyway. Recently, I had an extra $50 come into my hands via a gift. My original goal for this money was to put it toward debt, but once I got that $50 in my hand, I was tempted to do all sorts of fun things with the money, such as buy new clothes, take my family out to eat, and so on and so forth. Instead, I made that extra payment toward debt ASAP. That way the money was out of my hands and no longer available for the temptation of “you only live once” spending.
Reaching debt freedom isn’t so much about money as it is about having the right mindset and about disciplining yourself to do what needs to be done to spend less and pay off debt. As we see from the many debt success stories on this site, people with all types of jobs, with all amounts of debt and with all levels of income are kicking their debt to the curb. How? By bucking the naysayers in their lives and in their minds, and by doing what needs to be done to get where they want to go. If it sounds simple, it’s because it is simple. The difficulties come when we allow our minds or our lack of discipline to convince us that the “you only live once” lifestyle is more important than having the peace and security of being debt free. Don’t let that happen to you. Reach for the sky, and give yourself the life of financial peace that you deserve.