Most of us understand the math behind debt and can see in our own situation how interest payments, late fees, and other penalties are hurting us more than helping us.
This blog and others like it are filled with article on how to get out of debt strategies, and they’re all full of good advice.
Before I became a happy debt-free proponent, I actually had a hard time wrapping my head around what the big deal was. I had some student loans, a bit of credit card debt, and some personal loans. I’d work a bit, pay some back, and accrue a bit more debt for the next month. That’s just how things worked, right?
Looking back on the long and painful journey to becoming debt-free, I realize I resisted taking stronger action in the beginning because I just didn’t see my debt as that big of a problem. I convinced myself I was going with the flow and doing what everyone else did.
Going With The Flow Means You’re Not In Control
For most of the month I felt like I was just sailing along, going wherever the river took me. There’d be some smooth parts, some rocky parts, and some scary parts, but I was still moving forward, so I didn’t think about it.
Of course then the end of the month came, bills would be due, and all of a sudden I would realize (again) that I didn’t know how to sail, had no idea how to take control of the boat, and that the water was getting rougher.
Taking Back Control
Before I had a conscious plan, I had started a very small savings account. Every pay period I’d put a bit of money in there, and the deal with myself was that no matter what happened, that account would always be growing. For some reason it was important to see at least one number going up.
That was the beginning of my aggressive debt-free mission. It was the first grasp at control, and it made all the difference.
Chart A Course, Learn To Sail
That’s about it for the sailing metaphors I think. Realize that without a plan and the will to take action, you’re just being pushed, and are completely out of control.
Having a plan means learning the skills you need and being disciplined enough to make powerful changes in your life.
You probably know the basics: Have an emergency fund, understand your debts, choose the high-interest method or the snowball method, and get cracking paying them down.
Every dollar you pay back and every dollar you REFUSE to borrow in the future is another dollar that says “I AM IN CONTROL”.
If you find yourself still struggling, there are options for help available. In Canada debt relief programs exist to counsel you and guide you to take back that control you’re looking for. Contact them for the help you need, and sail your way into the sunset.