After years of searching, I have finally discovered the real secret to getting out of debt.
It certainly hasn’t come easily, and it’s been a long, long road. It feels like forever since I started educating myself about personal finance, and then attempting to apply sound principles to my life.
I have read much on the subject. Aside from Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, books I have read about money include:
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
- The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin
That doesn’t even include numerous articles from blog posts, websites, and other resources. It has been quite a journey.
These are all great reads. I’ve learned quite a bit. Some have good advice. Some have terrible advice. But I always kept reading, learning more. I desired to understand about the current we are all forced to deal with eventually. It is like electricity, flowing, weaving, and I wanted to understand it because I was so bad with it for so long.
Debt comes along for the ride in a discussion about money, and in turn I learned the lesson about how to get out of debt.
The secret to getting out of debt is that you must use everything in your power to remove it.
And by everything, I mean everything in your power. You must use your income, your will, your cuts, your pain, your discomfort, your angst. You must throw everything at it; you must go all in.
I tried for years to “wander” out of debt. I thought if I just made more money, things would get better. Or perhaps if I cut enough, that would work. Maybe if I saved a few bucks on my phone bill, that would help. If my cell phone bill was lower, then I could get ahead.
It was all of that, and none of it.
And now, the only thing that has led to success is the day I got to a point where I finally hated debt. To that point, I only disliked it. I kept looking for some magical event that would happen to tip the scales in my favor. No amount of reading worked. No paycheck was big enough. It was only when I got a deep-in-the-gut of my soul anger that we started making real progress.
Getting out of debt is not fun. Every paycheck, I kiss more money away to the next of the faceless banks that have held our loans. Every paycheck, I click a few buttons, watch the money leave the account, and then wait for the money to clear on the other side. And then we wait until more money comes in again and we repeat the process.
I hate it. Our debt is my white whale. But unlike Captain Ahab, this will not destroy me. We are relentlessly moving forward. Our hate is our fuel.
This is how we will win.