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It’s the New Year and you’re fired up! You’ve made a commitment to clip coupons, brew your coffee at home in the morning and carpool to work every day. You’ve made it your New Year’s resolution to cut costs and finally get out of debt – and we couldn’t be happier for you.
But, let’s face it. Cutting back on monthly expenses can be difficult, inconvenient and ok, we’ll say it – it sucks. It’s easy for that initial fire to fade, leading you right back to square one and right back into the convenient arms of the Starbucks drive-thru.
That’s where we come in! We polled our budget-conscious team and came up with a list of a few simple ways to help you keep your eye on the prize, stay motivated and stick to your monthly budget – even when you really don’t want to.
Will you sleep better at night? Stop fighting with your partner about finances? Will you finally be able to take that vacation? Send your children to university?
Determine what your life will be like once you’re finally debt-free and focus in on those reasons when you’re feeling like the fight against your debt is just too hard. No one said it would be easy, but trust us, it’s definitely worth it in the end!
Getting out of debt can be a long and sometimes lonely journey. Find someone you trust and share what you’re dealing with financially. Explain to them your goal of getting out of debt, how you’re going to achieve your goal and ask them if they’re willing to encourage and support you.
Ideally, you’ll want to find someone who is already out of debt and understands the determination it takes to get there. As we mentioned, it can feel like a dark, lonely journey – so find someone who will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel when you can’t see it for yourself.
Keeping a journal or blogging about your experience is a great way to stay focused. Write about your struggles, set backs and victories along the way. You’ll be able to look back over your journey, and see how far you’ve come since your first entries. Not only will you motivate yourself, but if you choose to share your story, reading it may give someone the strength and hope they need to start their own journey out of debt.
Read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos – constantly educate yourself about money and getting out of debt. The better you understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and how to accomplish it, the more motivated you’ll be to stick with it. Educating yourself gives you tools and empowers you to take back the control over your situation, rather than being controlled and crippled by your debt.
It can feel like an impossible task to break the habits that you’ve developed over the years, but doing the exact same things that got you into debt in the first place just isn’t an option for you any more. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.
Work on developing new habits – cut up your credit cards and only use cash, write (and stick to) a weekly budget, stop eating out and pack your lunch for work every day. Developing new habits will not only help you save money, but it will actually change the way your brain works, leading to lasting results!
Unfortunately, when it comes to debt, there’s no “quick fix”. There will be times when you feel exhausted, slip up, run into unexpected roadblocks and insufficient resources – and that’s ok. You don’t have to feel excited and inspired all the time. You just have to keep moving forward, do the work and stay focused. Remember, you’ve got this!
If you’ve found yourself struggling to stick to your budget or are juggling increasing bill payments each month, Smythe Insolvency is here to help you get back on track. Our Licensed Insolvency Trustees are trained to work with you to determine the underlying cause of your financial difficulties, as well as assist you in improving your financial management skills, and provide you with effective budgeting strategies to help you achieve your monetary goals.
Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Greg Best enjoys working with clients to create solutions for their financial needs.
CPA, CA, CIRP
Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Chris Sinclair believes a practical approach is required to solve serious financial difficulties.
Cynthia’s goal is to ensure that every client feels respected and understood and to instill hope that they can get their life back by giving them the fresh start they deserve.