Step 6 – Treat Debt Like It’s Cancer

You work hard for your money, so it’s depressing to see the majority of your paycheck go to debt repayments. Think about all that you want to do in life. How many of your dreams are restricted by financial issues? If you hate your job and want to quit, chances are you cannot until you get another job because you have too many bills to pay. If you wanted to travel to an exotic place, chances are slim you’ll get to do that because you don’t have the extra income to spend on things you want to do.

Debt is like cancer and the interest alone is eating away at your hard earned income. This reality hit me quite hard while doing taxes last year. I had come to realize that in interest alone on my student loans I had paid $7,692.74 just in interest alone. It made me feel sick to my stomach. This would of been equivalent to working for a few months just to pay the US government INTEREST on my student loans. It set a fire inside me to pay down as much as possible and as quickly as possible and I want you to treat your debt the same way.

This year, think of your debt as finding out you have cancer. Because the truth is that your debt is a sign that your budget and financial situation is not as healthy as it should be. A very ill patient does not look around the hospital room and feel comforted that there are hundreds of others with the same disease, so it must be normal. No, that patient does whatever it takes to get back to a healthy way of life, even if it means going through the extremes of raw diets or painful treatments.

Look at your debt as a sign of the failing health of your finances and be prepared to do anything to get your budget back to a healthy way of living.

HOW TO PAY OFF DEBT QUICKLY

Once you realize that debt is not a good thing to have around, it’s wise to start paying off as much as you can, as quickly as you can. Here are a few ways to pay off your debt quickly:

  • Consider Consolidation: If you have multiple credit card debts, consolidating them can make them easier to pay off. The point is to move over your high-interest debts into one lower interest monthly payment.
  • Make Larger Payments Temporarily: If you’re really going to get out of debt, you need to stop making just the minimum payment. Instead, start making larger payments temporarily. Consider where you can cut out expenses in your budget. Perhaps you can give up cable or stop eating out for two months and devote those funds to your debt repayment. Also consider throwing huge chunks of money at your debt, such as a work bonus or your tax refund. Obviously, it’s not fun to watch a huge amount of money go toward debt, but these steps will get you out of debt much faster.
  • Refinancing: Consider refinancing your mortgage or car payment to get a lower rate. Refinancing your home loan is also extremely wise if you are still paying private mortgage insurance, or PMI, and can potentially save you thousands a year.
  • Budget for Debt Payments: You don’t regularly miss your water bill or electric bill, and that is because it is a non-negotiable expense that you budget for. Make your debt a non-negotiable bill too. This way you will always be on top of paying back your loans.

No one ever said that paying back debt was easy, but with the right mindset, you can get out of debt and become financially healthy. You can read on my blog my two main methods of tackling debt using the debt snowball method or the debt avalanche method.

Let me know in the comments below how you plan on tackling your debt this year.

 

“Never spend your money before you have earned it.”
– Thomas Jefferson –

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