Q&A: How Easy is it to Get Out of Debt?
Once Ryan and I decided to be completely open about our debt free journey on social media, the questions started coming in. Some questions were technical, some were more general like “what plan are you following?” But there was one question that we got asked over and over again in various forms:
How Easy is it to Get Out of Debt?
And while I know the people asking this were genuinely wanting to know just how difficult a debt free change would be, it broke my heart to hear this over and over again. I wanted desperately to be open and honest with them, but I knew my answer was not what they were hoping to hear. I would have loved to say getting out of debt is a piece of cake.
But the truth is this: getting out of debt is really freaking hard.
Nothing about getting out of debt is easy. The journey is a series of difficult decisions, sacrifices, and hard work. You have to really want to get out of debt to make this work. You have to find the inner strength to push through the hard parts and find the motivation to see this through. You can’t just wander out of debt the same way you wandered into it, you have to run like your life depends on it (and it does). You have to stop living above your means and that means sacrificing parts of your current lifestyle. You have to save up for purchases with cash instead of taking on more debt and that means having patience. You have to keep going even when something goes wrong and you experience a small setback, or a large one. You have to live on a monthly budget, tell yourself “no,” and set financial goals and that means being disciplined. You have to stop making excuses. You have to be willing to be weird amongst all the normal broke people.
But the other truth is this: getting out of debt is SO rewarding.
Like all the other important pieces of life, getting out of debt and living financially free is not easy, but it is rewarding. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. The couples who have successfully made it to 40 years of marriage have had to work really hard at it. The people who are physically fit enough to run marathons have had to work really hard at it. Hard work brings results. You will reap what you sow. So get moving, get working, and stop asking how easy it’s going to be.
Related: Why You Need to Break up With Debt
If you’re feeling like you’re ready to get out of debt, you have to get gazelle intense. This is a phrase coined by Dave Ramsey and comes from Proverbs 6:4-5 which reads “Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, And like a bird from the hand of the fowler. “ In other words, you need work your way out of debt with the same intensity that a gazelle runs away from a cheetah. The cheetah is the fastest animal on the planet and because of that, you would think the gazelle doesn’t stand a chance. Wrong. The cheetah only gets the gazelle one out of nineteen times. The cheetah is running for lunch, but the gazelle is running for his life. The gazelle out smarts the cheetah and you have to out smart the creditors. So if you’re stick and tired of debt and money stress, it’s time to start acting like a gazelle.
Related: How to Get Out of Debt Fast
How to Get Gazelle Intense
If you’re ready to get gazelle intense and run away from debt as fast as possible, it’s time to get serious. You’ve got to do everything you can to attack your debt and that’s going to be a combination of reducing expenses and increasing income. Get a part time job, do work on the side, or work overtime. Sell your stuff, stop eating out, stop making impulse purchases. Start living on a budget and get in control of the money coming in and going out every month.
Gazelle intensity is going to look different for every person or household because each person and each situation is different. But the bottom line is, the more intense you get, the quicker you will pay off debt and be free! Think about all the things you could do without those debt payments - saving for your children’s future, investing for retirement, giving outrageously. Figure out whatever it is that gets you fired up about being debt free and use that as your motivation.
Related: You Have Permission to Dream
Paying off debt is going to be an uphill climb. It’s going to take hard work and dedication. You have to find the motivation with in you to stay insanely focused. But the amazing opportunity we have here is that anyone can do this. Anyone can get out of debt, you just need to take the steps to get there and to show up every day even when it’s hard. I know you can do this, I know you have what it takes to kick debt to the curb and experience what it means to live in financial freedom. You’ve got this!
If you’re ready to start paying off debt or you want further guidance in your pay off journey, get my completely FREE downloadable Debt Free Guide. This is a full guide of reading and prompts that gives you the steps to paying off debt in a bite sized format so that you can stop feeling overwhelmed and start feeling motivated!