Updated: June 16, 2011
Everyone wants to be debt-free.
Unfortunately, only a handful of people are able to do it. And even fewer are those who are able to sustain it for the long term.
So what’s the secret of these people who have successfully eliminated debt from their lives?
I could only guess. Perhaps because I believe that each one of us live in our own unique circumstances.
But speaking from experience, I can say that more than the conscious effort to spend less than what I earn, finding extra income and snowballing my debt payments – my own success in the battle against debt really began with having the proper mindset.
Patience with the Details
One of the reasons why we get into financial trouble, specially with credit card debt, is because we don’t take time to balance our actual income against our daily expenses.
To do personal accounting can be confusing, meticulous and even boring – but it’s the only way you can see if you’re living below your means.
Being practical means appreciating things for their function. When we begin to buy things for their use and efficiency – we will start to discover our real necessities and learn to let go of the non-essentials.
For example, a shirt, pragmatically speaking, is just a piece of cloth that we need to cover our body – so there’s really no need to buy expensive brands when there are cheaper alternatives which are comfortable and sometimes, as fashionable. Moreover, there’s really no need to buy one if we have enough of them already.
I believe that self-reliance is an important trait to have if one wants to become debt-free. It is because you know that, in the strictest sense, you only have yourself to depend on when life throws lemons at you.
Negative thinking such as blaming others, making excuses, waiting for help and self-pity – it all stops when you accept the fact that change can only come from within yourself. And that change can only happen when you become more responsible with your decisions and actions.
Don’t let your material possessions define you. More importantly, don’t let other people dictate how you should think and feel.
All debt-free individuals I know are self-confident, positive thinkers that live to acquire skills, values and good deeds rather than short-lived happiness and comfort from material things.
Belief in Delayed Gratification
Lastly, one’s journey towards debt freedom would not be possible if one doesn’t believe in delayed gratification.
Working with double efforts just to be able to save money for debt payments is hard and the end is usually far ahead.
But keep your focus on the goal and know that when you finally make that last payment on your debt – that heavy feeling on your chest will lift, you will definitely sleep better at night and you’ll feel that anything is possible.
And indeed, anything is now possible for you – including financial freedom.
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