Being deeply in debt, especially for an extended period of time, is a tough existence. You dread the end of the month when the credit cards are due because you know it will be a struggle to even cover the minimum. But since you’ve been using the card or more likely cards, charging more than the minimum, the amount owed continues to grow. The dunning phone calls haven’t yet gotten out of hand, but you know it’s just around the corner.
There doesn’t seem to be a way out. You’ve made a budget, and actually followed it for a while, but it didn’t last long. You put the cards away, promised yourself that you wouldn’t use them, unless there was an emergency, but you didn’t stick with that promise either.
There is a way out. You have the power to take charge, but it’s going to require a skill you have never learned. That skill is motivating yourself. Motivating yourself, and keeping yourself motivated, is a skill that you can learn.
Anyone can become motivated to do something new. New things carry with them their own motivation. That’s why it’s so easy to start new projects, to make new promises. But when the going gets tough, the motivation is gone. Hit a bump in the road and the motivation is gone.
So here are eight tips to increase your motivation to get out of debt.
Tip One. Create a written plan. The remaining seven tips will help you create a plan. Make sure you write it down.
Tip Two. Write down all the horrible things that are resulting, and will result in the future, if you fail to take control of your finances and get out of debt.
Tip Three. Write down all the wonderful things that will result when you get out of debt. Day dream some really great things.
Tip Four. Carry these two lists with you, all the time. Whenever you are tempted to go off your plan, take them out and review them.
Tip Five. Be the Boss. Suze Orman says in The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, “True financial freedom is not only having money, but having power over that money as well.” Control is motivating. The more confidence you have in your abilities, the more motivated you will be. Pump yourself up! Crack the whip!
And how do you increase your confidence? By Tip Six.
Tip Six. Enlist assistance in making your plan, and in implementing it. There’s no reason to be embarrassed in asking for help. No one is an expert in everything, so seek out a trained professional. There is free credit counseling available at most credit unions and some banks. Check out the Federal Trade Commission’s website for what you need to know before you retain a credit counseling company: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre13.shtm
If you are facing foreclosure, contact your state’s bar association for the names of volunteer attorneys who can assist you.
Tip Seven. Based upon the assistance you have received, write down in detail the steps you are going to take to get rid of your debt.
Tip Eight. Review your written plan every day. You need to keep it in your consciousness.
Getting out of debt will be a struggle, as will adopting new habits to replace the old ones that no longer work. But, by applying these eight tips it’s a struggle you can win.