Last week, we talked about what a debt addiction is and briefly looked into how you can break free. This week, let’s take a slightly different path and look at the things you should STOP doing if you want to get out of debt.
Because after all, it’s more important to address the root of the problem than it is to add a million new things to your to-do list.
Let’s dive deep.
# 1 – Buying so Much Stuff
I know what you’re thinking. I’m being way too obvious here. Of course someone who is addicted to debt should stop buying so much stuff. Duh.
But the thing is we all take actions that we know we aren’t supposed to take.
For me, this comes with eating healthy. I know I shouldn’t eat take out five times a week but it took me a year of trying to completely break this habit.
We all have our problems and as cliché as it sounds, acknowledging the problem is the first step. Once you do that the rest is up to you.
# 2- Mindlessly UnManaging Your Money
Are you “unmanaging” your money (letting your money manage you)?
This could be a huge part of your problem. You see, when you start to track your finances and tell your money where to go something magical happens: you start to care.
By taking a good look at how you’re spending your money you’ll instantly be able to identify the unnecessary spending you can cut out. On top of that looking at your financial situation will help motivate you to stay on track.
Here are some budgeting posts to help motivate you:
- How to Track Your Expenses
- 4 Tips for Living on a Small Income
- How I Raise Two Kids on $20,000 a Year
# 3 – Paying Your Bills Late
Paying your bills late is a silly way to 1) ruin your credit score and 2) add to your debt pile. Sure, there are times when you might be running a little low and paying a bill late is inevitable. But if this is a regular occurrence then you have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Start managing your money so that you can stay on top of your bills.
# 4 – Using Debt as a Form of Payment
It’s time to declare your abstinence.
Debt is crushing you and you need to break free. Go ahead, cut up ALL of your credit cards, stop using lines of credit, don’t buy anything that requires monthly payments, and avoid all other types of consumer credit you can think of.
Period. Do this one thing now or keep making excuses as to why that’s not a good idea. The choice is yours.
# 5 – Looking for Instant Gratification
We live in a fast paced world.
When it comes to money we no longer have to wait. You can get instantly approved for new credit cards online, you can pay for and immediately down an eBook, you can order from Amazon and have new merchandise shipped to your front door in two days. You don’t even need to leave the house to blow through money.
That’s a problem.
Start looking for happiness in other people and practice being grateful. When you’re grateful for what you have you don’t have to worry about money and keeping up with the Joneses.
Your get out of debt journey is a long one. There is no instant gratification. Do the best you can and be happy with that. At the end of the day that’s all you can do.
Bonus: Stop Making Excuses
We all make excuses from time to time.
Sometimes I convince myself that I’m too tired to work. Sometimes I’m too busy to read a book to my kids. Sometimes I just “don’t feel like” doing anything.
They’re all excuses though.
The truth is you can accomplish anything you want if you quit making excuses and just man (or woman) up.
What other things do you need to stop doing to get out of debt?