Pay Off Debt

Why Is It So Hard To Pay Off Debt?

by KNS Financial on July 6, 2011

When trying to pay off debt, there are a lot of different obstacles that you must overcome. For some people, they are able to look past every roadblock, and focus on the finish line. For others, these things can cause them to get discouraged and give up, resigning themselves to a lifetime of debt!

4 Obstacles When Trying To Pay Off Debt

These things can add years to your financial goals, or even destroy them completely. Find out what they are so you can be better equipped when they show up!

It Takes Sacrifice

This is the most common and most practical reason why it is hard for the average American to pay off debt! We are so used to things being made easy for us – even our so-called struggles are nothing compared to other nations.

We are so used to being able to get what we want, when we want, because of credit! It takes a lot to overturn that mentality and begin to sacrifice. In order to get out of debt, you have to give up certain things. It may be certain expensive forms of entertainment, eating out, vacations, or even selling a few possessions (including your car and/or house)!

If you are not willing to make sacrifices, you could very well be headed for a lifetime of debt! I’ve actually had people tell me that it is impossible to get through life without accumulating, and living with, a lot of debt! But then when I took a look at their finances, I saw plenty of areas where they could save hundreds, and sometimes thousands, each month, if only they were willing to sacrifice.

What they were really saying is that it is impossible to for them to live without debt, because they will borrow to buy everything they desire, when they first desire it, and will never make a sacrifice!

Pay Off Debt

It Could Take Years To Pay Off Debt

When many people look at how long they can pay off debt with their current income, they get discouraged. Not only will they have to make sacrifices, but they may have to do so for what seems like a long time!

It can be very difficult to stay motivated when you see everyone else around you buying what they want, and you have 3 years of sacrifice in front of you! It can become tempting to only pay the minimum balance on all your debt, and use the extra money to fund your indulgences.

The key here is to set up a sound plan, budget fun into your finances, and check your progress often. That is the only way that you will be able to stay on track with your goals!

No Emergency Fund

If you do not have an emergency fund, then you will not be able to deal with any unexpected expenses which may arise. Not having an adequate cushion in your finances will mean that you may need to rely on credit whenever something comes up!

I’ve been in that place before. I placed every extra penny into debt repayment, and didn’t have anything set aside for emergencies. Then I lost my job and was forced to put all of my basic expenses on credit cards. My lack of a “rainy day” fund added thousands of dollars to my total obligations, and made it extremely difficult to pay off debt!

You May Have To Change Your Lifestyle

We already talked about the need to make sacrifices when trying to pay off debt. However, that word can be vague, and can mean different things to different people. No matter how you choose to attack this problem, you will have to make strong changes in the way you live.

The most simplistic reason for getting into debt is spending more than you make. So, at the very least, you will have to make severe cuts in a few budget categories in order to see any real progress. You may have to forgo your cable/satellite television package, sell your car and buy a cheap one with cash, stop dining out completely, and other things that are seen as drastic – such as living with friends or relatives.

Another huge change that you may have to make, is to look for more income. This could mean getting a second full-time or part-time job (maybe even cleaning toilets to get out of debt), taking on a lot of overtime, or looking for a higher paying job altogether. This will mean a huge change in your lifestyle, and many people are not willing to do something that drastic to get out of debt!

No matter what you choose, it will mean a huge adjustment to the way that you’re used to living. This can be a major barrier to paying off your obligations, if you do not have the proper mindset.

photo by Renjith Krishnan

Reader Questions

  1. What has been the biggest stumbling block to you paying off your debt?
  2. How were you able to overcome it?
  3. How often do you do something fun, or celebrate your victories when it comes to your finances?

Google+ Comments

Related Posts