One of the nicest gifts you can give yourself is a clean slate. It is the kind of thing we all want, but few attempt, and still fewer accomplish. I have managed to get out of debt twice now, and it took me years both times.
The question with which we have to wrestle is why it is so difficult to accomplish our goals. The answer is likely going to come as no surprise and will be unsatisfactory.
Few people accomplish the goal of becoming debt-free because it can be extremely difficult to achieve. And if you attempt it, you will discover some of the challenges associated with living debt-free.
That is the other part of the equation few people talk about. Even if you get out of debt, you might not stay out of debt. It is somewhat like hitting your target weight, then gaining back most of what you lost. Keeping debt off could be even harder.
Achieving your goal means you must face certain realizations. Here are a few, and what you can do about them:
Sometimes You Need More Money Than You Have
Deciding to go debt free changes nothing about whether or not you need more money than what you have. Your needs are your needs. You can’t just tell your creditors that you have decided not to have that particular debt.
Solutions such as MaxLend bad credit payday loan alternatives exist because bad things happen to good intentions. You might have manageable debt at the moment. But all it takes is for one more unexpected thing to happen. At that point, you need more money than you have to keep all the balls in the air.
You can’t live without power. If you don’t pay your bill, you could lose service and it could cost quite a bit of money to get turned on again. You can’t live without certain medical prescriptions. It can be life threatening to stop some medications cold turkey and you may not have the option to do without.
Life does not stand still while you are getting out of debt. One of the more harsh realities is that things sometimes continue to get worse. And you have to find a way to slow down the bleeding while you are trying to make progress in the right direction.
You Have to Change More Than You Expected
Getting out of debt always entails changes that you didn’t expect. It wouldn’t make sense to give up your cellular service. But you might have to switch from that expensive one to the budget option. Do you still have a land line? Maybe it’s time to let that go as so many have.
Speaking of phone plans, it might mean going from the unlimited plan to the one where you have to endure imperfect video quality and less time watching Netflix. About that Netflix account…
Do you have an option to choose your utility company? Does one provide gas or power at a better rate?
Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean getting rid of every nonessential. Joy is essential. We can regulate the amount and type of joy we have. But we cannot strip away all fun from our existence. That said, we might have to decide between Netflix and Hulu as opposed to having them both.
Beyond services is food. The two times we have to change our diet is when it has become too unhealthy, and when it has become too expensive. You don’t have to give up all your favorite foods. But do consider changing to less expensive versions. And buy groceries on sale! Getting out of debt always has the taste of compromise.
A Simpler Life
There are more ways to live a simpler life in the modern world than you might imagine. It is not just about making a few temporary downgrades until things get better. It is about making the decision to live a different kind of lifestyle.
A temporary lifestyle change usually doesn’t stick because the person making the change is only biding their time until they can get back to old habits. Real change is more than just a persistent habit. It is a new mindset that allows you to interact with the world in a whole new way.
The most unpleasant realities related to getting out of debt can be overcome. You sometimes need more than you have. You have to change more than you expect. And change has to touch more than the surface. It has to extend to the core.
That said if you can get beyond those challenges, a truly better, debt-free life awaits.