Getting rid of debt is a maths problem. You need to develop a long-term plan that will reduce your debt over time until it’s eliminated. However, it’s also a lifestyle choice, and that’s something you need to anticipate.
As personal finance blog Life and My Finances explains, part of the reason that it’s hard for people to get out of debt is because many don’t want to change their lifestyle. Whether it’s as dramatic as downgrading a house, or as simple as staying home from the bar more often, paying off debt in any meaningful timeframe usually involves a change in lifestyle. If you’re willing to make that change, you’ll do a lot better than someone else who’s stuck in their ways:
I was talking to my friend Laura the other day. She and her husband are 30 years old. They live in a $500,000 house, and she drives and Audi to work. We were talking about her daughter and the fact that she was going to daycare, and Laura looked down at the floor…. “I wish I could stay at home with her, but my husband says I need to go to work to pay the bills.”
She didn’t understand that there was another way. If they would just move to a $150,000 house and downgrade her car to a Honda Civic, she probably could stay home!
Of course, that’s not to say that everyone who is in debt is totally in debt by choice and they just need to suck it up. Sometimes life screws you over and you need to dig your way out. Being in debt doesn’t mean you did something wrong. But getting out of debt almost always involves changing somehow.