Stop worrying about what other people think about the car you drive. Realize that an automobile is simply a mode of transport.
Stop worrying about brands and designer labels. Your real friends don’t care where you bought your shirt. If they do care, get new friends.
Stop complaining about the “unfairness” of life. Wishing that you were “someone else” will not make it so. You cannot change your past, you cannot change your parents, you cannot change your background, but you CAN begin to change your future.
Stop blaming other people for your financial situation. Take responsibility for your actions.
Stop borrowing money. If you want to get out of debt, you must make a conscious decision to stop borrowing money.
Stop throwing your money away on books you will not read, movies you will not watch, games you will not play, food you should not eat, clothes you will not wear, furniture you do not need, and toys your kids will not like. Focus on long-term value instead of short-term (impulse driven) vanity purchases.
Stop living without a plan or a purpose. Create a budget and use it.
Stop falling for get-rich-scams. Instead of watching silly late-night infomercials about real estate investing, get a good night’s sleep, look for a better job, and start to build up your savings.
Stop arguing with your spouse about money. Start talking with your wife about money and personal finance. Also, talk to you kids about money and the value of hard work.
Stop feeling guilty about past financial mistakes. Focus on your future, not you past. Work diligently to pay the people that you owe and then create a plan to provide a secure financial future for yourself and your family.
Stop getting angry with people when they tell you to “stop”. Consider that the person telling you to “stop” just might be right! Getting out of debt requires sacrifice. It requires an inward determination to be different.
For more than two years, I’ve forced myself to examine my own behaviors (and the motivations behind my behaviors). I realized that changing my financial future required that I find NEW motivations, so that I could adopt NEW behaviors. Now I am motivated by my love for my family, a real determination to be different, and a confidence in the direction that I am headed.
There are no secret formulas for getting rich or getting out of debt. All of the tips, tricks and techniques in the world are “useless” unless they are combined with determination, motivation, and behavior modification. It is NOT enough to simply DESIRE change. You must take the steps necessary to actually CREATE change. And, sometimes, the first step in the right direction is to stop stepping in the wrong direction.