“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Often the hardest step to take when getting out of debt is the first one. It’s not any more challenging in terms of work or sacrifice, but it’s going to be the biggest mental challenge you’ll have on your journey to getting out of debt.
“I have learned that the strongest muscle in your body is the space between your ears. It’s also the furthest distance you ever have to travel.”
The First Step: Admit you have a problem
The first step to getting out of debt is simply admitting to yourself that you’re in debt and that you have a problem.
It’s not easy to admit you’ve done something wrong or that you’ve failed in some way, but it’s a necessary evil. Debt doesn’t make you a bad person, but it is a drain your life which you need to combat. Admit that there’s a problem and resolve to fix it.
How to Determine if You’re in Debt
Although fairly simple I sometimes hear the question “how do I know if I’m in debt?” Basically if you owe money to others you’re in debt, but of course it’s not that simple. It becomes more challenging because some debt is okay, but a debt problem is when people get in trouble. Much like having a few drinks is alright, but being an alcoholic is not, debt depends on the person, but should be rationed.
When does it become a problem?
The short answer is; it becomes a problem when you’re no longer able to repay your debts on a consistent basis or they’re becoming delinquent.
If your debts are no longer manageable you most likely have a problem, but there are a few telling signs that you may start to uncover.
Signs You Have a Debt Problem
1. You spend more money than you make.
2. You’re often hit with late fees because you’re unable to pay bills on time.
3. You aren’t able to make full payments and often just get by with the minimum payments on credit cards.
4. Debt collectors are contacting you and threatening.
5. You start to spend even more than you usually do, because you often think “what’s the point, it’s hopeless.”
If you have any of these signs you’re probably more in debt than you should be. Although it’s common to carry a small credit card balance or some loans such as a mortgage or car loan, you should never feel like you’re in a quicksand pit.
The hardest step, and the first step you need to take in dealing with your debt is to look yourself in the mirror and admit that you have a problem. Once you admit that to yourself you can face your problem, and yourself with open eyes and give yourself a fighting chance for beating your debt.
Start your journey today!
Head over to our section on getting out of debt to get questions answered, find some motivation, and learn how there’s hope for you in becoming debt free.