So you’ve decided to take the plunge and get your financial fitness on. I realized while trying to pursue this goal myself, there are a few things to definitely avoid in order to successfully achieve this goal. I think you will find these helpful too:
1. Continue using your credit cards to live your lifestyle. Let’s face it….if you were great at managing money you wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. So if you really want to get out of debt, this first step is key!! Statistics show that 75% of American household’s major financial concern is credit card debt. Frequently using credit cards will prevent you from finally being debt free and learning to live within your earnings. It’s time to get off the hamster wheel! The best way to start this journey is to pay cash for everything until you have disciplined yourself to not overspend.
2. Using a debt consolidation company to pay off debt. Plain and simple: If you got yourself in the mess then you can get yourself out of it! Believe me when I say you can do it! Hold yourself accountable! That is what being an independent adult is all about! The truth is that you CAN actually get yourself out of debt. It requires focus, discipline and MAJOR effort. YOU (yes you) have the capacity to accomplish whatever you truly set your mind to. It’s going to hurt like hell, especially when needing to develop the new habit of restraint. Remember, nothing worthwhile comes easy! Stop relying on an outside source to solve your problems. You are very well capable of getting your life in order. Besides, debt consolidation companies operate on settling your debts after you’ve stopped paying them for an extended period of time. Don’t do that!
3. Take out a personal or 401(k) loan to pay off your debts. Hold up, hold up, hold up. So you were awesome enough to save some money for your later years and now you want to cash out early to pay for your current mistakes?? Oh no! You’re not doing that my friend! Your future self will thank you. This is similar to seeking debt consolidation. Many people have the misconception the reason they can’t get out of debt is because they have it spread among multiple cards and if they transfer it to one big debt balance then they can manage the payments. You know what happens to most people who take this approach? Now that they have a clean slate and no debt on any card, they’re tempted to spend. That ultimately results in having to pay credit card debt plus a loan balance.
4. Be hard on yourself for not realizing all this debt was a bad idea sooner. Making mistakes is part of life. You can’t spend your time thinking about the past and how you could’ve been different. That time is gone and will not come back. The best thing you can do for yourself is to move forward and be grateful that you now realize you’ve been making poor decisions and want to rectify them. Focusing on the positive will lead you to desirable results in the long run.
5. Window shopping or online browsing – Let’s face it: putting yourself in the lion’s den is DEFINITELY not the best of intentions when you are trying to get out of debt. There’s just so much advertisement out on the web nowadays that simply scrolling through a social media platform can cause major FOMO. Before you know it you’ve bought several items not needed. Money you could’ve used to pay down your debt. Do yourself a favor and avoid exposing yourself to these scenarios. Whatever you could possibly think of purchasing will not bring as much satisfaction as not having to pay a credit card balance. Work toward your goal! You are bound to see it through.