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If getting out of debt feels like a dream only meant for rich people, let’s find out what’s holding you back.

Have you ever just decided to stop looking at the little box that tells you how much you owe (total) on your credit card, because at this point, what’s the difference?

It was too high a year ago, and it’s surely worse now.

And nothing you have tried has worked to make it go away.

Well, let’s sleuth out the thing that’s messing up everything in your debt plan.

7 Reasons You Can’t Get Out of Debt

Inspiration to get out of debt when it feels impossible.

 Reason 1. I’m still paying on the last emergency.

Sometimes, all of that debt happened due to unexpected expenses totally beyond our control.

We had a family emergency, the car got totaled, healthcare bills piled up.

And in an emergency, who has time to figure out where the money’s gonna come from?

So you do what you must so you can focus on the humans who need you in the moment.  You’ll worry about the money later.

The problem with emergencies is that the only guarantee is that they will come.  You just don’t know when.

This is why Dave Ramsey advocates building a $1,000 emergency fund before you begin to pay off debt.

52 Week Money Challenge

Find a way to get that $1,000 saved up.

This is exactly why I invented this money saving chart… when you take a look at it, you’ll quickly see how easy it can be.

And the other solution?  Use the emergency fund.

It’s tempting to put the next emergency on a credit card…maybe you want to earn points, or you’re afraid of what will happen if you use up all of your savings.

Just remember that this is exactly why you saved up.  And start the savings account again.

Paying cash for an emergency is a success!

Reason 2. It’s too much, I can never pay it off.

Forget gazelle intensity or bald eagle style freedom.

Your life mascot is the ostrich.  Head in the sand, ignorance is bliss.

Maybe you’re making minimum payments (maybe you round up a little).

Maybe you stopped using the cards, or maybe you use them more than you realize.

Dealing with the dirty numbers and knowing exactly how much you owe and to whom you owe it can be scary.  It makes sense that you’d want to ignore it.

But that won’t make it go away.  Instead of preparing for impact, you’re going to be blindsided by the debt train without warning.

I’ll admit, considering the big debts we owed was terrifying when we started our #yearofno.  But I finally realized that letting those numbers control my entire life was far more terrifying.

Don't be an ostrich.


Pull your head out of the sand!

Get comfortable with a free tool like Empower by Personal Capital that will show you at a glance how much you owe to everyone.

Then, choose just one bill to really focus your attention on.  Whether that’s the one with the smallest balance, the highest interest rate, or the one that makes you angriest doesn’t matter.

What does matter is finding a bill you are most passionate about getting rid of.  Because knocking off one will inspire you to keep going.

Reason 3. I’ve just accepted it.

Face it.  For some of us, debt is a way of life.

Sure, you’d like to be out of debt.  But that’s not exactly feasible in your situation.

The thing is, you aren’t the only one who has a mountain of debt in a tough situation.  And maybe finding out how other people managed hard times is just what you need.


Here’s how our family paid off over $20,000 in debt while raising 5 kids on one income.

Check out how this family of 5 totally changed their life to get out of debt.

Or this woman who paid off over $50,000 in less than 2 years despite being unemployed for 6 months and a temp for 9 months!

Learn how this family paid off debt even though they didn’t have anything big to sell and were living on a low income.

Reason 4. I have kids.

Yep, having kids does make things harder.

But…and this is gonna be a hard pill to swallow…do you really want to teach your kids to live beyond their means?

Should they have to swim in a mountain of debt when they grow up, too?

Every parent wants to give their children better than what they had.

It’s perfectly fine to sacrifice something so you can give your kids horse riding lessons or take them on a dream vacation.

What’s not ok is paying for those things on credit.

Or running out of money before payday because you can’t keep up with it all.


Kids are more resilient than we give them credit.

In fact, there’s a good chance they’ll want to join your team in the fight against debt.

Tell them why the family is feeling the pinch.

I’m definitely not telling you to burden them with grown up problems.

They don’t need to know numbers.  (Unless you present it in a positive “goal thermometer” way.)

But it’s perfectly fine to remind them that we can’t get fast food today because we have debt.

Besides, small disappointments like that will stick in their minds.  And it may be enough to keep them from repeating your mistakes.

Reason 5. My spouse isn’t on board.

This situation is frustrating for a lot of reasons.

You might feel like the guy who should have your back more than anyone else is sabotaging your every move.

Just remember that you are partners, and it’s possible that he doesn’t understand why you want to change everything about his life.


This one’s a little tricky, because you have to find out where he’s coming from.

Start by talking.

Find out if he’s on board, and if not…why?  What’s stopping him from climbing on board the debt free train?

Sometimes you just need to dream together.  What would your life be like if you were debt free?

What could you do without all of those monthly payments?

Maybe that’s a bigger house, a dream vacation, that sports car he had his eye on.

Couples that have a dream together will work harder.

If your spouse won’t even talk about it, you may be able to sway them by starting the process yourself.

Maybe watching you work will be the inspiration they need to realize that you really can change your lives.

Keep in mind that savers and spenders attract, and you can’t expect a spender to change their life on a dime.

Maybe you can work out a spending limit and let them draw cash from each paycheck.  Be sure they agree that the spending is over when that money is gone.

Dave Ramsey has some good advice for getting your spouse to join the fight.

Reason 6. But I want it all now!

We all have our moments of weakness.  We buy the shoes that cost too much or we get that rich dessert even though we know we shouldn’t.

Don’t ride a guilt trip for giving in every once in a while.


if you live every day like you won the lottery, it’s time for some deep thinking.

How long do you think this life can last?

(Not forever.  You know that…but do you know that?)


Think of it this way…if you cut out that shopping spree today, and spend that money paying down debt instead, that’s one day closer to freedom from money worries.

Those cute boots seem like a must have today.

But imagine how much sweeter they would be if you had extra money in your paycheck and could have a whole boot budget to spend every single month, guilt free?

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Reason 7. I don’t even know where to start.

It’s overwhelming!


Use these step by step directions for creating your own #yearofno and get started today.

And grab a copy of my 500 Ways To Save Money book.  It’s broken down into the sections that will save you the most money quickly so you feel like you’ve started something big.

(Because you have.)

How to get out of debt with a #YearofNo.

Crush the next thought that says you can’t get out of debt.

You can do this!  Make 2018 your year to get debt free.

Need more inspiration?  Get over 500 Ways to Save Money: Build A Cash Jackpot for the Best Things In Life.

Have you already tackled debt?  Are you ready to join the fight?

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