They were so ingrained that debt was something I expected to have and since I expected it, it happened. But eventually, I learned that most debt was not helping me and my family. Debt was keeping us broke and keeping us from enjoying the good things in life. It was also the driving force keeping me in the work force long after I wanted to retire. I was a slave to the creditors because I did not have a good handle on managing money and debt.
Growing up with people who expected to be in debt probably did not help me much, but the only person that I can really blame is me. I was not dumb by any means, just uneducated when it came to managing debt.
After I decided to turn things around, I learned two things that helped keep me motivated. The first thing was if you have money, debt is something you never need. The other thing was that anyone can get out of debt. It takes hard work and common sense, not debt consolidation, debt management companies or bankruptcy.
It just takes commitment, some sacrifice and time. If you are willing, you can become debt free. It won’t happen overnight. But then, your debt was not created overnight either. It took a lot of time and a lot of mistakes along the way.
I mentioned mistakes, because I believe that most hard working people get into debt because of mistakes made in planning or lack of planning for the future. And most hard working people will continue to work even after they should be retired and living the good life just to pay for the debt.
So, how do you get out of debt? That is the real question and there are any number of people who have made a business of answering that question. But the fact is, most people are willing to work hard and try to avoid the quick fix because it is their nature to pay their debts. Another part of the problem is that people have difficulty learning from their mistakes and they are doomed to repeat those mistakes and stay in debt. It is also a lesson that is easily passed on to our children.
The first absolutely necessary thing to becoming debt free is to accept responsibility for your financial situation. No one else caused you to accept credit as a way of life. The second most essential thing you need is a plan and maybe a little bit of guidance. If you are building a house, one of the first things you get is a plan and you might want to understand how the house is supposed to go together. Your financial house is no different. Without a plan, you just make the same mistakes over and over again.