Before saying “Yes!”… think about the questions below:
- Am I going to stop borrowing money? I had to be serious about ending the borrow-pay interest-borrow-pay interest-borrow-pay interest cycle. For me, this included putting my credit cards in a drawer and forgetting about them. My first step forward was preceded by the choice to stop taking steps backwards.
- Am I going to take responsibility for my lack of knowledge? I had to admit that I knew very little about money management. I could no longer plead ignorance. I had to do something about my lack of knowledge. In other words, I had to make money management a top priority.
- Am I going to spend time dealing with the numbers? I will readily admit that I am motivated by external recognition. I enjoy a good “pat on the back”. But, I had to come to terms with the fact that personal finance is about dealing with the “math” and understanding interest rates, monthly minimums, and account balances. I had to get my hands dirty and deal with the “facts”, not just “my feelings”.
- Am I going to commit myself to periodic reviews of my personal finances? I had to be committed to the idea of living on a budget and using that budget to better understand my spending habits and financial choices. A budget allows for me to plan for the future, but it also allows me to examine the past.
- Am I going to live on much less than I earn? Rapid debt reduction not only requires that I live on less than I earn, it requires that I live on much less than I earn. I had to understand the importance of sending more than my minimums, week after week, month after month, until I was out of debt. This required a discipline that I had never before displayed.
- Am I going to stop worrying about the opinions of other people? Other people expect to buy new cars every two or three years, other people expect to take vacations every summer, and other people expect to go to the mall every weekend. I had to make a choice to act differently, think differently, and live differently. I am a weirdo, and I love it.
- Am I going to talk with my spouse about our finances? I am amazed by the number of couples who never talk about their finances. My wife and I have been “on the same page” from day one of our debt reduction journey. Whenever you see the word “I” here at No Credit Needed, understand that the word “we” would be appropriate.
After answering “Yes!” to the above questions, I was ready to get out of debt. If you have answered “Yes!” to these questions, you might be interested in reading this post: (Almost) Everything I Know About Debt Reduction.
I know dozens of folks who have told me, “I’m ready to get out of debt…”. The reality is, very, very few of them are actually prepared to do the work necessary for debt reduction. Sure, they want to be debt-free, but they continue to spend more than they make, they take vacations they cannot afford, and they buy cars that they do not need. For most of us, getting out of debt is not something that “just happens”. Getting out of debt takes determination, a willingness to sacrifice, and a true desire for change.