A series of unfortunate financial events led to a breaking point in my life where I finally said “ENOUGH!”
Although it does feel a bit daunting to tackle such a huge debt (I owe about $160k), I am 110% committed and determined to pay off every single one of my student loans, car note, and NY back taxes in full.
If you want to start a debt free journey to pay off your debt, it’s really easy to do. Follow the 5 steps below to get started.
First, let me just say that a debt free journey won’t be easy.
However, making “the decision” to start a debt free journey is easy and in itself, the first major step.
Plenty of people are in debt, but not many people are going to make a conscious decision to tackle their debt and pay it off within a certain timeframe.
It’s not enough to simply make minimum monthly payments towards your debt and expect to eventually one day become debt free.
That’s exactly what is keeping so many people IN debt and for years while spending thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollar in extra money in interest.
The extra money wasted towards interest could be used to beef up your emergency fund, grow your retirement nest egg, and build net worth.
If you are serious about becoming financially free, then you must decide that you had enough of your debt and that you are going to get rid of it once and for all.
I wrote “10 Reasons Why to Become Debt Free” which should fire you up to start a debt free journey today.
I had recently suffered from burnout as mentioned in this YouTube video and during my recovery, I realized that my debt, specifically my student loans, were making me miserable.
So, I decided that from now on until I pay off all of my debt, I am only going to make videos documenting my debt free journey.
But guess what?
There are other people on YouTube who are doing the same, but to my surprise, many of those people then subsequently made videos about why they were GIVING UP on their debt free journey.
It’s one thing to say “I’m going to start a debt free journey,” and then another thing to give up.
Like I mentioned, a debt free journey is not going to be easy.
As a matter of fact, depending on how much you owe, it may seem downright impossible. However, that’s where your commitment has to come in.
Are you going to give up?
Are you willing to make some sacrifices like not going out with friends at the bar, cutting useless subscriptions, or eating rice and beans like Dave Ramsey jokingly (but not really) suggests?
Are you willing to make a budget and stick with it to track your progress?
Your commitment to become debt free has to be fierce and rock solid. Otherwise, the sacrifices you will be making for the next few years will seem “hard.”
You know what’s hard???
Staying in debt is hard.
Being broke is hard.
Working at a job that you hate where someone else controls your time and how much you earn is hard.
Once you really, and I mean really make the commitment to become debt free, watch how laser focused you will become and how your mindset will shift.
Paying down debt will no longer seem hard and an inconvenience, but methodical and a necessity.
I’ll admit, I have not been the greatest at having a “plan” throughout my life. Truth be told, maybe the lack of having a plan is the reason why I am not where I want to be in my life right now.
However, one thing is for sure. I have chosen a debt payoff plan.
Two debt payoff plans that are really popular are the debt snowball method and the debt avalanche method.
I am doing the debt snowball method where I showed all of my debt in this episode because I want to see and feel immediate wins.
Still, whether you choose to use the debt snowball or the debt avalanche method, stick to that plan to start gaining momentum with paying off your debts.
If you want to stay committed to paying off debt, I highly recommend getting a whiteboard and placing it somewhere in your home where you can see it every single day.
Next, on that whiteboard write “Debt Free Journey” and after choosing whether to do the debt snowball or debt avalanche method, jot down the debt you selected to tackle first.
Then, write your target payoff date for that particular debt and make two columns.
The reason why you want to use a whiteboard and place it in a spot where you always see it is because you want to remind yourself on a daily basis your commitment to becoming debt free.
I currently live in a studio apartment and I have my whiteboard next to my desk, which is next to my bed. I know when I see my debt, I tell myself that “I am financially free” because I want to pay off that debt ASAP so I can move onto the next debt.
I explained how I use the whiteboard in this YouTube video.
It’s a great motivator.
I saw on Pinterest a meme that said “Save ‘til it hurts” and then I thought…that expression would be good to use when it comes to paying off debt.
“Make Payments ‘til it Hurts”
When you are on a debt free journey, you have to budget and be intentional so you can find the extra money.
It’s that extra money which you will be using to attack your debt with a vengeance after saving the minimum for your emergency fund.
Otherwise if you don’t budget, as Dave Ramsey says, you will be wondering where your money went.
The key here is to make payments towards your debt until it hurts so you can become debt free as quickly as you can.
If that means you only have $10 in your checking account until your next pay day because you used extra money left over from your budget to pay down debt, then so be it!
Don’t worry about an emergency popping up and having only $10 in the bank.
You can allocate your emergency fund this way to give you peace of mind.
Accordingly, if you are really committed about becoming debt free, then make additional payments towards the debt you are tackling first ‘til it hurts.
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