There’s always more than one way to get out of debt. The plan presented by a debt relief specialist might be very different from that presented by another. One important aspect of these plans is they don’t always focus on how human behavior works. You can make realistic plans all day, but will your current behavior patterns accommodate your plan?
Regardless of how you choose to tackle your debt, it pays to develop simple achievable habits that get you into a pattern of winning at life down the road. Here are five simple habits to get you out of your debt now so that you won’t have to pay it off the rest of your life.
1.) Create a budget
Doesn’t everyone do this? After helping hundreds of people get out of debt and on the road to financial freedom, we can emphatically say that not everyone keeps tabs on their own income and expenses. You may be surprised how many people are too frightened to take the first step toward debt relief and continue to rely on credit to get them through their day-to-day lives. Many of these folks are living paycheck to paycheck because they can’t keep up financially. Taking note of all the money coming in and out of your household each month can be hard, but it will give you a clearer picture of where you stand and how to move forward.
2.) Think long-term
Developing a budget and a plan for paying off your debts is a good first step, but if you don’t continue beyond that, unfortunately you may get yourself back into a debt crisis. As you pay your debts, you should constantly be thinking of ways to put yourself in a better position that your future self will thank you for.
One way to do this is to look into personal development in an area that interests you or will likely have value for others in the future. Adding to your array of skills can meet a need for self-fulfillment and also open the door to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
3.) Learn to cook
Eating out too often and eating prepackaged food at home can easily cause your finances to tumble out of control. It can also be incredibly unhealthy as well and could potentially cause you grief with your medical bills years down the road. This is ultimately not a suitable option for most people seeking to get out of debt.
Cooking is an incredibly fulfilling past time that teaches the value of budget-setting, nutrition, culture, and chemistry all at the same time. Most importantly, you can eat better meals at home for a fraction of what that meal would cost at most restaurants. You can even meal prep and cook large batches of food in advance for breakfast, lunch and dinner, saving you both time and money in your budget.
4.) Be open to legitimate income opportunities
Too many budgets focus solely on expenses and not enough on getting a positive cash flow into your household. Developing a mindset that’s open to legitimate opportunities to earn more income is always a good thing. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should overextend yourself, but efforts to earn more in a safe and sustainable manner should always be on your mind.
5.) Focus on things you can solve
Understanding and internalizing that some things are simply beyond our control, contrary to popular belief, isn’t necessarily defeatism. Rather, this understanding can be empowering, freeing you to take control of the things that still remain within your power. It can be as simple as cutting up your credit cards or calling your creditors or a debt negotiator and communicating your situation with them.
Worrying too much –even about debt – doesn’t change reality or solve anything. A lot of debt stress has to do with feelings of helplessness and uncertainty that consumes our minds. But while you can’t always control how you feel, there are positive steps you can take to help move your life in the direction you need. Getting into the habit of focusing on what you can do right now so that you can be better in the future is ultimately what drives every success.