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Get Out of Debt

3 Things Preventing You From Pursuing A Debt-Free Life

Today we have a great guest post, if I do say so myself, from an awesome gal named Latoya. Latoya blogs over at Life and a Budget and you should check that out after reading this post. Enjoy!

You hear about it all the time.  A young couple has paid off $25,000 of debt in 9 months.  A single mother has built a reputable business and quit her full-time job.  An inspiring YouTube couple is hustling their way out of their mortgage debt.  If you’re anything like me, these stories inspire you and make you want to dig yourself out of your own sinking hole.

I’ve spent the last ten years aware of my student loan balance, but not willing to take the initiative to do anything about eliminating them.  The income-based repayment plan was a savior of sorts.  I would send in the lowest payment I could afford over an extended period and get the rest forgiven after a certain term. I was oblivious to the burden that would eventually consume me.

It is a burden to carry so much debt.  To know you owe someone and you can’t be in control over certain terms of your life. That’s no fun at all and not the way any of us should want to live.  But to do something about this, we must take an honest assessment of the things that are keeping us from pursuing a debt-free life.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but there are 3 things that have kept me from being like the young couple who is paying off debt, the single mom with an entrepreneurial spirit, or the YouTube couple who is knocking out their mortgage.


Any thought that prevents you from facing your debt and doing something about it is an excuse. I have several of them and I’m trying to retrain my thoughts so I can eliminate them.  

One of those excuses is time and it’s the most common excuse many of us have.  It’s easy to focus on the amount of hours in a day, but over the course of a week, it’s possible to achieve a lot more than we lead ourselves to believe.  

After focusing on my lack of time for just one week, I discovered several things that allow me to use this excuse as a crutch.  Instagram, Facebook, mindless television watching are all time sucks.  

They were keeping me from doing the things I needed to be doing, like paying down my debt.

Thinking of Others’ Successes Instead of Creating Your Own

Other people are moving forward with their debt free plans, but I’ve been sitting around admiring them.  This is cool to a certain extent.  It’s okay to admire, commend, and wish other people well.  What’s not cool is when we do this so much we forget to contribute to our own success.  

I have admired watching one blogger who completely paid off her $38,000 student loan bill.  Matter of fact, I admired her ability to do such for about 2 years while wishing her story was mine. By now, it could have been me if I wasn’t so focused on what she was doing.

I have carried over $70,000 of my student loans for the past ten years!  This amount has increased by 11 percent because of interest.  Instead of spending all of my time wishing I could pay off my loans quickly, I’ve decided to create my own plan using this as inspiration to fuel my journey towards financial freedom.

Being Paralyzed

Once you get over focusing on what everyone else is doing, you realize you have to do something for your own situation, but what?  

Earlier this year I knew I needed to do something, but I became paralyzed.  Paralyzed with fear that I didn’t know what I was doing, fear that I wouldn’t be doing enough.  I wanted to be free of my debt, but no one around me had aspirations like mine.

It’s frustrating not knowing where to start because you don’t have a community around you who encourages financial freedom.  I knew what I wanted to do to pursue my journey towards living a debt free life, but the fear of not being accepted by those you look up to can become paralyzing.

Well, the best thing you can do in this situation is to just do something!   

Once you realize and deal with your excuses and focus on creating your own financial success story, you have to put one foot in front of the other and stop being paralyzed with what if’s.  Doing something can be as simple as applying for a part-time job.  Just do anything that gets you moving in the direction you’ve decided to go.

My movement began when I set up my site and put up a hire me page.  It’s something I’ve done before, but I allowed excuses and fear to keep me from being successful with it.  I have to follow through, and so do you.  

Focus on eliminating excuses, use your inspiration to put your plan into action, and just do something that will propel you towards your desire of living a debt free life.

What’s keeping you from pursuing a debt-free life?

Latoya is a wife and mother of two, who lives in SC. She writes at Life and A Budget. Her mssion includes paying off $70,000+ in student loans, publishing her own book, and juggling a full-time work at home position, all while launching a successful freelancing career.  Get to know her better over on Facebook and Twitter, or stalk her Pinterest.

Like what you read? It’s your turn! We’ll pay you for your debt story.

Around here, we’re all about taking our debt and beating it down. Grrrrrrrr! We pay $5 for every awesome debt story we publish (whether you’re in debt, out of it, or barely living to tell the tale) so send yours our way to be considered: reddebtedstepchild[at]gmail[dot]com!
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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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