So, you’re in debt… You want to get outta debt, but you don’t know where to start…
I hear you… I was once there a few years ago, and I felt hopeless.
What I came to learn was that getting out of debt isn’t really that hard. Making the long lasting lifestyle changes is the real challenge.
If you’re serious about kicking debt to the curb, then you need to turn into a… (dramatic music)
Debt Slaying Super Robot from the Future
You’re probably thinking “Oh. My. Gosh, that sounds SO cool”, and you’re right. It’s probably the coolest thing you could ever possibly become. I’m actually kinda shocked you didn’t already know that. (psshh)
Judgement aside, the transformation is important. You’re going to shed your former financial self and be reborn a hardened financial machine.
A machine that takes on no debt, and takes no shit from anyone. Ok, well… you might still take shit from people. It just kinda flowed as I was typing. The debt though, that’s going to be a no go. None of that.
Before you can become the debt slaying super robot from the future, you’re going to have to make a few lifestyle changes. Some changes will be easy, and others will be a pain in the ass.
You most certainly can make these changes and get out of debt, and it doesn’t matter how deep your financial hole is.
A debt slaying super robot from the future can’t be stopped.
Getting out of debt isn’t easy, it takes time and a certain set of skills. Skills that you didn’t even know you had. Skills that will separate you from the average Joe, and change your life forever.
These skills will shape you into a debt killing machine!
(Que the Rocky montage)
Debt Slaying Robot Transformation Step #1: BUDGET
First things first. If you’re going to become a debt slaying machine, you have to start routinely budgeting every dollar you earn, not just budgeting a few things when you feel like it.
Budgeting might feel awkward at first, but soon it’ll become an incredibly freeing exercise.
You’ll actually know how much money you have!! Talk about a wild concept.
When we were in debt, I used to dread opening up the bank app on my phone. I had no idea how much money I was going to find. The account may be full, orrrrrr it might be over-drafted.
It was a terrible feeling…
Budgeting quickly changed that. Once we started to budget every dollar every pay, I had this new found confidence in our finances.
I no longer feared opening up the bank app, and I knew we weren’t going to over-draft our account.
I’d suggest starting with a budgeting app, like the Every Dollar app, or my budget form (you can get this for free by subscribing!).
Budgeting isn’t difficult. It’s just figuring out how much you need to spend each pay period on the essentials, and tracking your spending every day.
In a perfect world, you’ll have money left over and that money is then sent on down the line to pay off debt.
You can really find a lot of hidden money if you take a deep dive into your monthly bills and spending habits.
Another amazing thing about budgeting is that you’ll most likely find a lot of extra cash that you had been leaking out each month.
My wife and I found that we were spending hundreds of dollars in small $20 purchases. That $20 didn’t sting at the time, but when we started to budget and review our spending, it jumped out as a gigantic mistake.
This is step 1, and it’s incredibly important… Create a budget, track your spending, and stick to it!!
Debt Slaying Robot Transformation Step #2: Saying NO
I assumed that when I became an adult, it meant that I didn’t have to answer to anyone. As a child I was so excited to become an adult, well… I feel like someone lied to me about this shit.
Turns out when you’re an adult, you have to answer to a lot of people… and if you’re in debt, you also answer to the banks and credit companies too.
Pshhh, what a sham. It sorta seems like you have less freedom than when you were a kid… (disgusted look)
Well you know what? I work damn hard for my money and at least I’ll get to spend that however I choose!
You probably do too, and we deserve some cool shit, right?
Eeehh, I don’t completely disagree. BUT mindlessly spending will certainly prevent you from completely changing into the debt slaying super robot from the future, and that’s a real bummer man…
You’re going to have to say no to yourself and to other people… a lot, but only for a little while.
This isn’t easy, and actually it might be the most difficult part of your robotic transformation.
People around you might not understand, and some folks will vanish from your life faster than your cash used to. That’s fine, don’t let casual acquaintances derail your robot transformation.
While you’re paying off debt, you’ll have to draw a line in the sand and tell people no. You might be saying no to holiday gifts, nights out, or parties.
It doesn’t matter what the occasion is, if you didn’t plan for it or budget it in… it’s going to be a NO.
You’ll have to remind yourself that being a good friend isn’t financial, it’s emotional. You can still be a kick ass friend, but you’re not going to be poppin’ bottles for awhile.
I found that explaining exactly why I’m saying NO helped to ease the sting to those on the receiving end of some financial truth. If they don’t understand, that’s ok. It’s not their life, their money, or their debt. (shrug)
That might sound harsh, but you need to take care of YOU! You need to rid yourself of this financial parasite. You’re prepared to change your financial trajectory.
Your real friends will not only understand, they’ll support your epic transformation. They will remain a part of your life, and you might even inspire them to start their own transformation!
This all could be accomplished, but it starts with you saying N-O.
Debt Slaying Robot Transformation Step #3: No More Credit Cards
It’s proven that people spend more when they’re using credit cards. The financial sting doesn’t quite hurt as bad when you’re not forking over actual money.
Sliding that smooth, sexy plastic card feels good… Almost like the money isn’t real, and this financial transaction didn’t take place. IT IS REAL DAMNIT!
In 2018, it’s normal for people to buy shit with money they don’t have. I’ve said it before, but it deserves repeating.
You can buy things with money you don’t have… It’s actually so common, that people don’t see the oddity in it.
Credit by itself is pretty awful but to make it worse, credit has this dumb-ass sidekick named interest… and interest is a real dick.
When you swipe that little, sexy piece of plastic, you’re taking on an obligation to pay it off before that asshole (interest) comes knocking.
Statistically you’re not going to do this, and that freeloading punk will soon be sleeping on your couch and eating all of your favorite cookies.
At first he doesn’t seem so bad. He’s kinda small, and doesn’t really do anything… at least nothing you notice.
But, man… before you even know it you have a 350lb sweaty abomination sleeping on your couch, leaving pubes on your toilet seat, and feeling up your spouse… I’ve seen it a 1000 times, and it’s disgusting!
Putting a lock on your credit card is a must. It’ll make your budgeting easier, and it’ll keep the risk of over-spending down.
Becoming a debt slaying super robot is all about forward progress, so don’t let a credit card push you back into the pit of hell called debt.
Debt Slaying Robot Transformation Step #4: Find Motivation & Develop Discipline
Motivation comes and goes… discipline will ensure you cross the finish line.
I’ve found that getting a daily dose of motivation helped strengthen my financial discipline.
Personally, I found my motivation in podcasts and books. If you’re like me, then the list below might help you.
Some of my favorite podcasts are:
Some of my favorite books are:
Podcasts played a major role in injecting some motivation into my day. Hearing someone talk about how they achieved the same goals I was shooting for was addicting.
Listening to podcasts gave me an overwhelming sense of power. I came to realize that I actually had control over my financial life!! I CAN DO THIS!!
That sense of power will give birth to your financial discipline. You realize that making intelligent decisions every day leads to life altering change.
Hearing folks do their debt free scream gave me goose bumps…listening to Jocko talk about personal ownership gave me power.
I’d end up calling my wife and talking her ear off about how someone paid off $300,000 of debt while working as a synchronized butterfly trainer. If they can do THAT, I can do THIS!
Debt Slaying Robot Transformation Step #5 Create Goals
Depending on how much debt you have, it might appear to be an insurmountable feat. As we looked up at $109,000 Debt Mountain, it felt like someone was asking us to move Mt. Everest… not even climb it, but pick it up and move it to Ohio.
Breaking it up into smaller, more manageable goals is what kept us going.
Goals are multi-layered. You have your total debt, each debt account, and how much you can pay each month. There are numerous opportunities to create and achieve goals.
I’d suggest breaking your total debt down into manageable chunks. Whether it’s the Debt Avalanche or Debt Snowball, or another method to chunk out your debt. Break that balance up…
Once you’ve broken your debt down and you know exactly where you’re going to begin, start by setting monthly or pay-day goals. Set an amount you’re going to dedicate to debt each month, or each pay.
This allows you to get emotional wins every pay day, not just when you pay off an account but EACH pay day.
That kind of winning will add a fire under your ass that you never knew could burn so hot.
As you’re hitting your pay day goals, you’re also rapidly paying off debt and digging your way OUT of this financial hell.
Goals also allow you to make paying off debt sorta like a game, not just a tedious gut-wrenching process.
If you can find a way to have even an ounce of fun while doing this, you’re going to end up being a pretty kick ass debt slaying super robot… I’m just saying, you’ll be bad ass.
Document Your Debts
If you’re blindly paying off debt, you’re going to quickly become frustrated and quit. Before you start your debt pay off plan, you absolutely must document all of your debt information.
You should know your balances, time remaining on the loan, interest rates and how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
When you pay off debt early, you’ll save a lot of money in interest and you’ll also save a ton of time. The debt tracker will show you these changes in real time, and that’s incredibly motivating!
This free debt tracker spreadsheet will do all of that for you! It will make your debt pay off plan incredibly easy.
There are numerous ways to turn into a debt slaying super robot from the future and if you can nail the steps above, you’re going to be on the fast track to debt-freedom.
Always keep in mind that your sanity is important. If you start out too hot, you might burn out and quit.
Consider the long game when you start your transformation. Achieving debt-freedom is a marathon, and you need to develop a plan that you can stick to until the end.
If you quit, then this whole things was for nothing and you’ll never get to be that bad ass debt slaying super robot, and that’s a damn shame…
I wish you the best of luck on your transformation… God speed my financial superhuman… God speed.