When someone asks for help in figuring out how to get out of debt, the suggestions they receive can usually all be boiled down to three things:
1. Quit borrowing
2. Spend less
3. Make more money
The corresponding responses to those suggestions often go something like this:
1. But I can’t do that because…
2. Well I suppose I could, but I don’t really want to because…
Very few people say, “Great, thanks! I never realized I could spend less on things I don’t really need.” (They probably already knew that, for one thing.)
Looking for a magic pill
Instead, they argue and rationalize about why their situation is different. They really need a $150 monthly cable package because sometimes junior has to watch a TV show for school. They’re different, and surely there’s some other, more palatable way to get out of debt? Something that allows them to live their exact same life while magically shedding thousands of dollars in debt?
There is no magic pill.
But there IS a secret when it comes to getting out of debt: no one wants to make the necessary changes.
They just do what it takes anyway, because they want to be out of debt more.
And I’ve never heard anyone say that they wouldn’t do it all over again. Sure, they might say that having to get a second job sucked, or that it was hard to say no to evenings out on the town with friends. But, so what?
When you really want to change, you will find a way.
It takes determination, time, and sometimes a little outside perspective.
Like any major change you make in your life, you can’t expect it to happen overnight.
Of course we’d all love to wake up one day to find that our debts had magically been repaid, and that we’d acquired an anti-debt prevention shield that protects us from all future debt, but we don’t live in the movies.
Real life takes work, and getting out of debt is no exception.
The thing about changing your life the old fashioned way is that it’s worth it. Working hard at something — which includes making the kind of changes it takes to become and stay debt free — does more than just build mental and physical muscles.
It builds character and confidence.
You feel good about yourself and what you’ve accomplished. You feel good about having gained the tools and skills to find a way to tackle whatever comes your way. You know that you can overcome adversity.
And when you get there, it’s worth it.
So do the hard stuff, and enjoy the reward later. You’ll be glad you did.