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Debt Payoff Tip – Be Realistic

Today we’re featuring one free chapter/tip from our eBook ’10 Top Tips for Paying Off Debt’. The book has been written to give encouragement and help to those who are looking to pay off debt and return to financial freedom! If you like what you are about to read then the full book is available on Amazon for a limited time discounted price.

For now we hope you enjoy Tip 9 in the book – Be Realistic.

Tip 9 – Be Realistic

When you first decide – or feel ready – to embark on the challenge of paying off your debt, it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to do it as quickly as you possibly can. While this might sound great on the surface of things, often times it can lead to you setting unrealistic goals for yourself. In most cases, people who are in serious debt don’t get there in a matter of months. Instead, debt problems usually arise from years of overspending and of living above their means.

When it comes to paying this debt back then, you shouldn’t expect to be able to do it overnight. Not only are you going to have to cut your spending to an ‘affordable level’, you are also going to have to go further in your spending cuts in order to start spending less than you actually earn in order to start repaying your debt. This is no easy task. It can certainly be done, but it is not easy.

This can be especially difficult if you decide to cut your spending by too extreme a degree at first. Sure, we understand that you will want to slash that debt! It is wise to remember though that this will likely be a marathon, not a sprint. If it has taken you years to accumulate this debt, then it will likely take you years to eliminate it. You have to be prepared for this. If you decide to cut too fast and too soon – you’ve likely heard this term used by politicians when they are discussing the national debt of a given country – then you will probably give up and concede that you simply can’t do it. If you take a balanced approach to debt repayment however, then you will find that the task seems much more achievable, as long as you maintain your balance and discipline. As with the other tips we’ve discussed in this guide, let’s consider an example.

Let’s say that you are used to enjoying a meal out at a restaurant once a week. This meal is the highlight of your week and it is the only time you get to relax and enjoy the company of your spouse or friends. In your quest to become debt free, you decide to cut this one enjoyable time of the week out of your routine completely, never allowing yourself this treat again.

You can imagine that over time this kind of extreme action might become a little hard to bear. Would it not be better to instead link this kind of treat to a particular debt repayment goal? Perhaps you could go with something along the lines of ‘This month, if I reach my target of paying off £200 of my debt, I will allow myself to go for one meal out with friends or with the hubby, as long as it doesn’t affect this month’s debt repayment goal’. Allowing yourself this kind of treat or reward along the way on your journey toward a debt free life can make the whole process that much more realistic, bearable and attainable. Sure we all want to be able to pay off our debts within a year or as quickly as is humanly possible but we have to be realistic, or else the overall goal will inevitably fall by the wayside.

Taking a balanced, realistic and well thought out approach is the key to success when it comes to repaying debt. If you try to go too fast too soon, then you will undoubtedly get disheartened and you will more than likely give up. If you allow yourself to live some kind of a reasonable lifestyle along the way though, even if it is far from the standard of living you were used to beforehand, then you will be giving yourself a much greater chance of success in achieving your dream of financial freedom.

This was an excerpt from our debt repayment focused eBook ’10 Top Tips for Paying Off Debt’, available for download on Amazon now! 

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One Response to Debt Payoff Tip – Be Realistic

  1. Great tip! Being realistic is critical to any kind of budgeting effort, with debt repayment or some other goal. If you try cutting back your spending all at once, you’re more likely to get discouraged and give up. For many categories, a gradual change might serve you better. For example, if you want to cut your grocery spending, rather than cut 40% in one month, try cutting out 10% the first month, then an additional 10% the next month, and so on. Achievable steps will help you make forward progress.
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