Considering that I’ve gotten myself into (and out of) debt multiple times, I think I’m more than qualified to talk about what it takes to have a successful debt-free journey. Let me start by saying this: the debt-free journey was not a quick and easy ride for me. Some people have the kind of luck that allows them to be in and out of debt…that’s not me.
I did all the things I shouldn’t have done. Including buying things I didn’t need, then buying things I didn’t need for my business. I definitely didn’t learn my lesson the first time, and that’s what got me in trouble the second time. Despite my multiple mistakes, I managed to climb my way out. Outside of my mortgage, I’m happily debt-free. Do you want that too? I’m sharing 6 signs you’re ready for a successful debt-free journey.
Signs You’re Ready for a Successful Debt Free Journey
#1 You have your budget in order
Before you can even begin your debt pay off journey, you need to know what you can afford to put towards your debt every month. The only way to know that is by having a budget. A budget tells you the ins and outs of your money – meaning, the money coming in and the money going out. When you know this information, you know what you can afford to pay towards your debt.
Here’s the thing…you don’t want to just put all your extra money towards your debt. You’re probably raising an eyebrow, but hear me out. When you put all your extra money towards debt, without understanding what’s realistic for your situation, you’re setting yourself up to be broke!
To make your debt pay off journey a success, you have to manage your budget WHILE you pay off your debt. Get your budget in order, and you’ll be well on your way to debt-free.
#2 You’re ready to control your spending
The first time I got into debt was because I couldn’t control my spending. I bought clothes, shoes, purses, plane tickets, rental cars, fancy meals, and the list goes on. I didn’t need any of that stuff, and I definitely couldn’t afford it. That’s where credit cards or personal loans get dangerous. It’s almost like you think the money is yours to spend. It’s not. It’s yours to pay back.
For your debt-free journey to be a successful one, you need to be ready to control your spending. You need to be ready to say “no” to things you want. You need to be ready to be disciplined. If you aren’t ready, you’ll still swipe your credit cards – keeping you exactly where you are. Have you made it to the point where you just want your debt gone? Good. Let’s keep that vibe!
#3 Your credit cards are locked up and out of sight
Is swiping credit cards your problem? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! Be prepared to lock them up, cut them up, or freeze them…Literally, I had a client stick her credit cards in water and freeze them! My point is that you need to be willing to let go of using your credit cards. Not permanently, but long enough to pay them off and get to a place where you don’t need to use them.
Don’t convince yourself that you always need a credit card on you because “something” could go wrong. I had a client do this as well. She used her card on things she didn’t need significantly more than using it for “something” that went wrong. You can have a successful debt-free journey; you just need to put the credit cards away to do it!
#4 You have funds put to the side in case something pops up
People ask me this all the time – should I save money if I have debt? The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all, but I can tell you that you absolutely need something saved before you aggressively focus on your debt. I’ve explained why plenty of times, but it’s worth repeating.
Imagine you are putting all of your money towards your credit cards to pay them off. You don’t have anything in savings because you just want your debt gone. You’re on your way home from work and your car breaks down. You don’t have savings, and all of your extra money went to credit cards. You’ll have no choice but to pay for that car maintenance with credit. Now, you’ve just undone your progress.
I don’t want that situation for you. It can 100% be prevented by having something put away before you focus on paying off your debt. It doesn’t have to be a large number. Start with $500-$1000 and see how you feel. If you need more, keep saving. If not, shift your focus to your debt.
#5 You’ve reached the point of “now or never”
There’s nothing like a “do or die” situation to help you get your act together! If you’re of the mentality that it’s now or never for paying off your debt, you’re well on your way to a successful debt-free journey. That mindset is what’s going to keep you pushing forward, even when you don’t want to. That mindset is going to keep you motivated when you just want to spend money.
That mindset is what’s going to lead to your success. It’s sink or swim, baby…which one are you doing? You’re not here to sink. You’re here to swim (AKA thrive)! You can do this, so put yourself in a position where there’s no other choice but to do it.
#6 You’re willing to invest in your success
The final sign you’re ready for a successful debt-free journey is when you’re willing to invest in your success. You’re willing to put up your extra time or money to help you succeed. You’ve tried this debt payoff thing on your own for a while, and it’s not working. You’re at the point where you need the guidance to make true change and you’re willing to pay for it.
Not only does putting up extra time or money make your investment worth working towards, it also puts you in a position to lose something if you don’t do the work. In addition to a “do or die” mindset, this also helps put a different level of commitment into your journey. Some of the best results come from your biggest investments.
If you’re ready to go for your successful debt free journey, schedule a financial focus call with me and get the guidance you need!
Becoming debt free sure isn’t easy. But it’s so worth it! Anything worth having is worth working for. A life free of debt is certainly worth working for! Have you started your debt free journey? If not, what’s holding you back? Post a comment below to share your feedback and experiences! You may be helping someone else as well!