8 Characteristics of People Who Successfully Get Out of Debt

Oct 17, 2017Financial Planning, Taxes & Financial Planning

Having worked with families and individuals in building and implementing their financial plan, one goal that I have seen to be relatively common for many is a goal to pay off debt in order to be able to save money. I recognized some characteristics which made them succeed on this path and why they were able to successfully follow-through with their commitment to get out of debt when others struggled or even failed at it?

So, I have been able to pinpoint 8 behaviors which make them more prone to pay off their debts:
I refer to them as The Debt Slayers.

  • 1. They are goal-oriented and have a clear focus.
    One of the first exercises Debt Slayers do before starting to pay off their debts is they define their SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
    Debt Slayers are goal-oriented. They are clear about the path that lies ahead. They know how they are progressing and how much they have left before they get there.
  • 2. They take steps to change auto-pilot spending habits.
    Human beings are creatures of habit. We get comfortable in our ways and routines. As a result, it requires specific self-awareness to get off the auto-pilot mode.
  • 3. They work hard to identify the difference between needs and wants.
    Debt Slayers are able to dig deep and honestly ask themselves if their purchase is a must-have or a nice-to-have.
  • 4. They don’t “Keep up with the Joneses.”
    Debt Slayers are aware that everybody else’s life looks plentiful on social media or when observed from the outside. However, they do not let the vacation pictures of friends or strangers derail their desire to become debt-free.
  • 5. They communicate openly, honestly, and regularly about finances with their partner.
    It is difficult to pay off your debts as a family if you are not on the same financial page as your partner. Once money becomes a topic that does not trigger fights and arguments, things will go more smoothly.
  • 6. They are patient and disciplined.
    Debt Slayers know there is no magic wand that makes debt disappear. It takes a considerable amount of patience and consistent actions on a daily basis.
  • 7. They find ways to have fun while paying off their debts.
    Who wants to live a life based on a restrictive way of being? Not Debt Slayers!
    Just like an extremely restrictive diet is bound to fail after some time, paying off debts without ever allowing yourself to have fun will also be doomed.
  • 8. They are not afraid to ask for help.
    Some perceive asking for help as a sign of weakness. But Debt Slayers know that properly managing money does not come naturally to everyone. So, they guiltlessly ask for help because they see it as a sign of determination to make things better.

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