Debt comes in many shapes and sizes. Some types are more easily justified than others. Some are planned and others are a result of giving in to an impulse. One thing is for sure, though. Debt is the enemy. Of course, it wasn't always that way. In the beginning, debt acts like it's a friend, allowing you to buy that extra outfit or a television with just a swipe of a card, or that much-needed SUV down at the car dealership; or a solid education. It isn't difficult to get into debt, but once you want out, it can seem impossible. But here are 5 secrets that can help you get out more quickly.
Don't get into it in the first place
For those who are already up to their eyeballs in debt, this isn't a welcome tip. But for those who aren't, it can make the difference. The fact is we often talk ourselves into a debt situation that we invariably regret down the road. So put a little more thought into the consequences of your actions. For example, there are a number of ways to get through college without student loans. If you struggle with your spending habits, having a credit card is a bad idea. Get rid of it before you hurt yourself. And don't think that you have to have anything, including a nice car and a house, before you are truly financially able to sustain it.
Recognize that this is a crisis
Consumer debt isn't something to take your time getting rid of. It's an emergency! Whether you have a lot or a little, it's not something you simply just "work on." Getting out of debt must be your first priority. That means cutting back on everything but the essentials. It means putting off vacations and other fun activities until you're out of the woods. Because if you don't live like it's an emergency now, it may never be one, and you'll be caught in a vicious debt cycle your entire life.
Your attitude means more than your income
Some people believe that income is the main factor in one's ability to pay off debt. But there are several stories that show otherwise. The fact is it's more about your attitude than your income. For example, if you view getting out of debt as an emergency, you're much more likely to change your attitude on other discretionary spending until you can get it under control. You're also more likely to be willing to take on extra jobs to pay it down faster. No one will get you out of debt for you, so it's time to get nasty.
It's easy to do this when we get into debt. We blame the lending institution for making it so easy; we blame the salesman for being so convincing or we blame our parents for not teaching us the correct way to do things. But don't expect your creditors to come to your pity party. Unless you take ownership for your actions, you will most likely always remain a victim in your mind, and you will never have the mindset needed to become free and self-reliant.
Use your resources
There are a vast number of resources out there for people who are trying to escape the bondage of debt. There is no shortage of tips or techniques. Rather than thinking you have a handle on it, take some time to research different alternatives. You will most likely find something that can help you.
Debt is a nasty thing. It never sleeps and never takes time off. Rather than letting it get the best of you and control your life, it's time to take control of yourself. The more effort you put into attacking your debt, the more likely you are to change your behavior to pay it down more quickly and to avoid it again in the future.