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When I am working with clients, one of the common themes is their desire to get out of debt. Everybody likes the idea of being out of debt, but when we put all of our debt together on paper it can get very overwhelming and sometimes downright frightening. We then realize that to get out of this hole that we need to make significant changes to our lives. Change is hard though, and it usually means letting go of attitudes and beliefs we have had about finances including things such as, “you will always have a car payment,” and, “I need a credit card for emergencies.” I encourage people that the sacrifices are worth it in the end and usually mention tongue in cheek that you can always go back into debt if you do not like it.
The reason why we want to get out of debt is simple; debt equals risk. By having no debt it gives you a sense of relief in places that you did not even think you had stress. In addition, it allows you to do bigger and better things with your money as you will experience a sense of control with your finances. This will enable you to grow your personal wealth instead of the bank’s bottom line.
So what are you waiting for? My advice is to give it a chance, get on a budget, list your debts smallest to largest and start paying on the smallest debt. This will give you the motivation to get out of debt and then experience the joys of debt-free living. Like I said earlier, if you then just hate being out of debt, having no payments, and having money in your bank account at the end of the month, then you can always go back into debt. Just open one of the credit card offers you receive in the mail everyday and you will be able to go back into debt quite easily. Or if you are just plain weird and have your mortgage paid off also, a bank will be more than glad to give you a mortgage on your home. Chances are that you will love being where you are and you won’t even consider going back to debt.