6 Reasons Your Debt-Free Journey Is Going Nowhere
6 Reasons Your Debt-Free Journey Is Going Nowhere
You started your debt-free journey with high hopes and even higher expectations. You heard the stories of people paying off an insane amount of money in an insane amount of time, and you couldn’t wait to add yours to the collection.
Yet, you find yourself in the middle of your debt-free journey, and you’re not at all where you expected to be. Maybe you’ve made some progress, but not as much as you hoped for. You feel like you’re going nowhere. You’re beginning to think this whole debt-free thing just isn’t possible.
There may be a reason why your debt-free journey isn’t going quite as you planned. In fact, there may be many reasons. The bad news about these reasons is they all have to do with YOU. The good news about these reasons is they all have to do with YOU. This means there’s something you can do about it.
So, it’s time to do a little soul-searching and self-reflection. See which of these reasons might be why your debt-free journey is going nowhere.
1. You’re Looking For An Instant Fix
You’re super psyched about becoming debt-free. You want the debt gone. There’s no mistaking that. You’re fed up with it. In fact, you’re so fed up with it that you would like the debt to be gone tomorrow. And you expect it to be.
How long will it take? That’s all you’re concerned about. You want to know when you’ll be debt-free and only that. Don’t bother you with the details of sacrifice or even suggest bringing in additional income, making changes, etc. How. Long. Will. It. Take.
If this is you, I have a question for you? Did you instantly go into debt? It is highly unlikely that you did. So it is an unrealistic expectation for it to disappear instantly. Pursue the next best thing. Rid yourself of the debt as quickly as you can by being intense in your debt-free journey. Sacrifice to the extent you can and what makes sense for your situation.
2. You’re Comfortable in Your Current Situation
This one is tough to admit. Even though you desire to be debt-free, the thought of all the things you have to do to achieve debt freedom is scarier than what you are currently facing. You’ve been living this way for a while, and you’ve managed. It may not be the best situation, but it’s familiar.
Change is hard. When the pain of change seems greater than the pain we’re in, we freeze. We do nothing. We make no progress. We get comfortable with what’s familiar and fear the unfamiliar — even if the familiar’s not so great.
You will only see results in your debt-free journey if you are willing to do things differently than you have been doing — even if it’s difficult. You will need to make a decision: push through the pain of change, or remain in the pain you’re in?
3. You Want More Than You Want to Be Debt-Free
Sure you want to be debt-free. But there are also other things you want. Perhaps you just want those things more than you want to be debt-free.
You fill in the blank. Keeping up appearances, doing what you want when you want to — whatever it may be for you — that’s more important to you than paying off the debt. You may not think it is, but if your money, time, and attention are going to those things instead of paying down the debt, then they are more important to you.
Remember that your debt-free journey is temporary and will come to an end. It’s up to you when that end will come. Keep prioritizing the other things, and you delay the end. Prioritize your debt-free journey, and you will sooner experience the freedom you desire.
4. You Don’t Really Think It’s Going to Work
It’s possible that you’re going through the motions of paying off your debt, but deep down you don’t think you will ever be debt free. Even though you’re inspired by hearing the countless debt-free stories, you’re also a bit skeptical. How did they really do it? You like the idea of debt-freedom, but don’t think it’s possible for YOU.
By thinking your efforts and hard work will be fruitless, you pretty much guarantee that they will be. You are sabotaging your debt-free journey by doubting it. This quote from Alexandre Dumas rings true here. “A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failures certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.”
Because our actions have a habit of lining up with our thoughts, if you think your debt-free journey isn’t going to work, you’re right — it won’t! But if you believe you will crush debt and you act on that belief, you will!
5. You’re Just Going Along For the Ride
This whole debt-free thing was not your idea. It was your spouse’s (or someone else’s), and you’re just playing along. You’re on your debt-free journey by default and not because you chose to be.
Making a significant change like paying off debt if YOU haven’t decided to, just won’t work. If this is the case, then you are not completely committed to the process, and you will not see results. Your spouse or whoever is driving the debt-free train won’t see results either.
If you started your debt-free journey without defining your all important “why” take a moment to do that. Why do YOU want to pay off your debt? How will your life be different? What are you unable to do now, that you will be able to do when the debt is gone?
Establish your why so that you have a reason behind the effort you’re putting in. Married couples, in addition to defining your why together, it’s a good idea that you each identify your individual motivation behind wanting to be debt-free.
6. You Haven’t Decided to Stop Using Debt
You’re plugging away at your debt, and you are seeing some progress. Maybe you knocked off a credit card or two. BUT, you needed a new car, and now you have a car payment. Or, you had a big expense coming up, so you put it on the credit card you just paid down. You won’t admit this, but you’re kinda okay with debt.
It’s hard to pay off debt if you’re incurring more. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible. This seems obvious, but many people embark upon a debt-free journey while still amassing debt. If you have not firmly committed to a debt-free life, then there is always going to be a scenario in which the use of debt is justified and your debt-free journey may, in fact, never end.
If you would like to see permanent results in your debt-free journey, you have to decide that debt is not an option. This absolute might seem terrifying, but it is actually quite freeing. Your decision-making becomes simpler because it will be done from that perspective. Help yourself stick to your commitment to becoming completely debt-free by following a budget, establishing an emergency fund, and being willing to tell yourself, “no.”
What’s The Reason Your Debt-Free Journey is Going Nowhere?
Deciding to be debt-free is no small feat. If you’re experiencing setbacks, delays, or discouragement on your journey, don’t give up. Identify which of these reasons is why you’re not seeing progress and then take action to overcome it.
Congrats on pursuing something that is difficult, yet so rewarding. Keep pushing through. You’ll come out on the other side being glad you did!
Which of these resonates with you? And what are you going to do about it? 🙂