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5 questions to ask to get out of debt

 

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ARE you experiencing financial stress because of DEBT?

So let’s not get into the technical stuff of why people got into debt. The fact of the matter is, when people are in debt and what they want is a solu­tion to get out of debt. So how do we go about it? Where do we begin?

Let’s have a little analogy to il­lustrate the scenario and to make us understand the importance of eliminating the root of the problem and not just simply treating the pre­senting symptoms.

Now imagine running on a flat tire – you’ll probably end up at your destination with a broken car or never arrive at all. The common solution to this problem is to inflate the tire to help you get to your destination.

And while inflating the tire does the trick, sooner or later, it’s going to flatten again unless you treat the source of the problem – find the leak and fix it.

Dealing with debt is somewhat similar to this scenario. We need to find the cause of the problem (debt) first because we can jump and start looking for financial solutions to pay it off.

The common mistake that people do when dealing with debt is they immediately look for solutions so they can pay off their debt (this is equivalent to inflating the flat tire) such as getting a loan, transferring balances or selling their stuff so they can use the proceeds to pay off the debt.

This is the reason why people fall back into the cycle of acquiring debt because the root cause was not identified and treated first.

Here are five questions that can help pinpoint the cause of debt:

  1. What specific behaviors are get­ting me into debt?
  • Do you follow a budget when it comes to spending my money?
  • Do you follow a certain principle when it comes to keeping and spend­ing my money?
  • Is yours spending a response to a certain behavior? e.g., wanting to keep up with a type of lifestyle and certain conveniences.
  1. What spending habits am I unconsciously practicing?
  • Have you adapted specific habits from my parents? e.g. how they do grocery shopping, how they save versus how they spend money.
  • Are you being influenced by media about what types or brands of products to purchase?
  • Do you find myself resorting to emotional spending? e.g. buying when I’m sad, happy or excited.
  1. What situations are getting me into debt?
  • Do you have financial obligations that you need to pay even if your paycheck cannot provide for it? e.g. family responsibilities, paying some stuff for a family member.
  • Are you in a situation where you are forced to go into debt because your savings is not enough? e.g. medical emergency, family financial emergency
  1. Why did I do to solve my debt problem?
  • Are you relying on credit card use for your expenses?
  • Did you borrow more to pay off another debt?
  1. What kept me from solving my debt problems?
  • Are you too scared to face the problem?
  • You just simply do not know where to start.

Let’s not be afraid to answer these questions because we just might find the answers to our debt concerns.

Wanting to pay off debt is a good thing and actually identifying steps and actions items to pay off debt is another thing. We need to have both desires to make the decision happen.

And just like any other problem, identifying the main cause or the root is the only way for us to be sure that the same problem won’t surprise us again.

THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.

Are your daily activities interrupted because of your debt? How willing are you to make a firm decision to pay off your debt? How does answering certain guide questions help you ad­dress the cause of your debt?

“The cause of your debt is within you – not outside of you.” – Unknown

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