There are no two ways around it. Debt is heavy. Debt is draining. Debt is hard to deal with. Just because debt isn’t the best thing to work through, doesn’t mean you can’t work through it the best way possible! There are certain mindset shifts to help you manage debt and get rid of it from your life.
While I don’t want to leave you with the impression that getting rid of debt is an overnight process, I do want you to know that it can be dealt with. No matter how bad your debt seems. I’m sharing 5 mindset shifts to help you manage debt. Face the music and then get to work!
5 Mindset Shifts to Help You Manage Debt
#1 Don’t think you can simply figure it out later
Trust me. You don’t want to put your debt on the back burner. Why? Because you are being charged interest on your debt. No matter if your payments are deferred, no matter if you have a promotion, you are being charged interest on your debt. Instead of thinking you can figure your debt out later, start thinking how you can start tackling it now.
Dealing with your debt at a later time will only make your balances grow. It will just be harder to deal with when the time comes to figure it out. Make your life easier by factoring your debt into your budget right now. This leads us into the next mindset shift.
#2 Don’t think small extra payments won’t make a difference
You may not have all the money in the world to put towards your debt, but don’t think that small, extra payments won’t make a difference. They will definitely make a difference. Look at your budget to see what extra amounts, no matter how small, you can afford to put towards your debts. Leverage a strategy like the snowball method and focus on one debt at a time.
Those small extra payments may not seem like they are doing much damage, but they certainly are, especially over time. Remember that putting off your debt is only going to make the process harder for you down the line. There will never be enough money or time to get started, so just start now.
#3 Don’t think about how long it will take you to become debt free
Becoming debt free is not an overnight process. It will take time, effort, discipline and sacrifice. Guess what? That’s perfectly okay! In fact, that is preferred. The harder you work to get out of your debt, the less likely you will be to get back into debt once you’ve become debt free.
Take it from someone who’s been there. I had debt from 19-24. Then, I made a lot more money and was able to pay off debt pretty quickly. I got back into debt after becoming debt free. The second time around took much more effort to pay off the debt. You better believe my lesson was learned after that.
Understand that your debt repayment journey will likely not be a short one, but don’t let that make you feel any type of way. Make sure you are prepared to do what takes to become debt free, and then to stay debt free!
#4 Don’t think you don’t make enough money to pay off debt
As I mentioned earlier, you will never “make enough” money to pay off your debt, so get that notion out of your head. Instead of worrying about the lack of money you have to put towards debt, start thinking about the ways you can put anything towards your debt.
This is where the discipline and sacrifice will have to come in. You don’t need that extra pair of shoes, that happy hour, that expensive gym membership. Make the wise decision to put your responsibilities ahead of your wants, and you’ll have enough money to pay off your debt.
#5 Don’t think you’ll die with debt
I had a potential client (who ended up becoming a client) tell me during our consultation that she figured she would die with debt. That made me feel so bad, because she really believed it. After we started working together, her mindset shifted. Instead of “accepting” her debt, we worked to get her to focus on getting rid of her debt. It was no longer acceptable.
If you think you’ll die with debt, think again! You have the power to get rid of your debt. You simply have to believe it and then work towards it!
In case you were wondering, this client was able to pay off her debt that was costing her $800/month! She now has 2 months’ worth of expenses saved for emergencies and she is taking full advantage of her employee stock plan. Anything is possible.
Where to Start When Dealing with Debt
Mentally prepare yourself
Now that you have shifted your mindset around managing debt, it’s time to start dealing with it! Get yourself mentally prepped and ready. The mindset shifts above will certainly give a huge helping hand as you become mentally equipped.
Understand exactly what you owe
Once you have gotten your mindset ready to take on your debt, you need to understand exactly what you owe. Make a list of all your debts, the balances owed, the minimum payments, due dates and interest rates. What does all of that add up to? Can you afford the minimum payments on all of your debts? When you understand exactly what you owe, you can figure out your best next steps.
Create or adjust your budget to help you pay off debt
Your best next step will be to create or adjust your budget to help you pay off your debt. Using a strategy like the snowball method, you can tackle one debt at a time while making sure the minimum payment is covered on the rest of the debts.
Let your budget show you what you truly can afford to put towards extra debt payments. Remember, small, extra payments will have an impact over time.
Need help getting out of debt? I’ve created a Debt Reduction Kit to walk you through the steps needed to become debt free!
Are you ready to speed up your debt repayment and get to a place where you are in control of your debt?! I sure hope so! What struggles are you dealing with when it comes to your debt? What strategy are you using to pay your debt off faster? Post a comment below to share!
The CGS Team