Becoming Debt-Free Begins in the Mind


To do personal accounting can be confusing, meticulous and even boring—but it’s the only way you can see if you’re living below your means.


Everyone wants to be debt-free. Unfortunately, only a handful of people are able to do it. And even fewer are those who are able to sustain it for the long term.

So what’s the secret of these people who have successfully eliminated debt from their lives?

I could only guess. Perhaps because I believe that each one of us live in our own unique circumstances.

But speaking from experience, I can say that more than the conscious effort to spend less than what I earn, finding extra income and being consistent with debt payments, my success in the battle against debt really began with having the proper mindset.

Patience with the details

One of the reasons we get into financial trouble, especially with credit-card debt, is because we don’t take time to balance our actual income against our daily expenses.
To do personal accounting can be confusing, meticulous and even boring—but it’s the only way you can see if you’re living below your means.

Pragmatic outlook

Being practical means appreciating things for their function. When we begin to buy things for their utility—we will start to discover our real necessities and learn to let go of the nonessentials.

For example, a shirt, pragmatically speaking, is just a piece of cloth that we need to cover our body. Thus, there’s really no need to buy expensive brands when there are cheaper alternatives that are comfortable and sometimes, as fashionable. Moreover, there’s really no need to buy one if we have enough of them already.

Independent thinking

I believe that self-reliance is an important trait to have if one wants to become debt-free. It is because you know that, in the strictest sense, you only have yourself to depend on when life throws lemons at you.

Negative thinking such as blaming others, making excuses, waiting for help and self-pity—it all stops when you accept the fact that change can only come from within yourself. And that change can only happen when you become more responsible with your decisions and actions.

Healthy self-esteem

Don’t let your material possessions define you. More important, don’t let other people dictate how you should think and feel.
All debt-free individuals I know are self-confident, positive thinkers that live to acquire skills, values, and good deeds rather than short-lived happiness and comfort from material things.

Belief in delayed gratification

Last, one’s journey toward debt freedom would not be possible if one doesn’t believe in delayed gratification.

Working with double efforts just to be able to save money for debt payments is hard and the end is usually far ahead. But keep your focus on the goal and know that when you finally make that last payment on your debt—that heavy feeling on your chest will be lifted, you will definitely sleep better at night and you’ll feel that anything is possible.

And indeed, anything is now possible for you—including financial freedom.

fitz Fitz Villafuerte is a Filipino entrepreneur, investor and a Registered Financial Planner.


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