Debt: GET OUT NOW!
Debt can be the single most debilitating "disease" we can have in our lives. When we have debt, we are, truly, a slave to the lender. It affects our relationships, our jobs, our joy (even though we feel that getting more stuff will make us happy). Getting out of debt, frees us from the bondage it has on us. If you feel that debt is affecting your joy of life, you can free yourself from it. If you have gotten into the habit of immediate gratification, spending more than you make, it won't be easy. But the habit that you made, you can break and create new and better ones.
NOTE: From an off-the-grid-living perspective, we can't truly live off-the-grid, in peace, with creditors trying to hunt us down.
Be encouraged that you can do it and there are rewards. Generally, there are two schools of thought on debt reduction: (1) Some advisors recommend that you focus on the highest-interest debt and pay that off first. It makes the most fiscal sense, but it doesn't work for some people because the size of the loan is so discouragingly large. (2) That's why a second group of financial advisors recommends that you pay off the smallest loan first even if it's not set at the highest interest rate. They believe that, like dieting, even a small success delivers a significant amount of satisfaction. So paying off one loan will provide the incentive and motivation to pay off more and serve as a reminder that becoming debt free is possible. Only you know your personal motivation style, so choose the plan that works best for you.
As mentioned previously, chances are that you got into debt because of some bad habits; habits that have taken you down the wrong path. You now have to purposefully focus on changing your financial direction. Changing your financial direction is a four-step process. You need to:
To omit even one of these steps is to miss the mark.
- spend less than you earn
- avoid more debt
- build liquidity
- set long-term goals
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NOTE: No kind of financial advice is being offered here. This information is being presented for informational purposes only and should NOT be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific plan, product, or course of action. It is presented to help make better financial decisions with the participation of a licensed professional, if desired. These techniques have worked for many others and is presented in the spirit of education and sharing. You are solely responsible for your own actions on how you use this information.