How Do You Know You're in Debt?
Talking with some friends the other day, I came to realize that many people in debt aren’t even truly aware of it. How can this be? Modern society has somewhat changed the definition of debt or at the very least has managed to put itself into denial about about what debt truly is and means.
From wikipedia debt is:
Debt is that which is owed; usually referencing assets owed, but the term can cover other obligations.
I have spoken with a number of people who owe more than $30,000 on cars, owe more than 100% of their homes value on their mortgage and have credit card debt they don’t pay off monthly. The strange thing is when you ask these people if they are in debt, they struggle with the answer. They know they are, but have convinced themselves that the level of debt they have is normal and the people they feel are in debt owe way more than they do. This is called denial.
Here are a few signs that might indicate you are in debt and most likely in struggling:
- You hide debt from your spouse or significant other
- You carry a balance month to month on your credit card
- You are living paycheck to paycheck and even using your credit card to carry you from one paycheck to the next.
- You have bills and/or loan payments that are past due maybe by more than a month.
- Collection agencies are calling you
- Your net worth is negative
- You lie awake at night wondering how you are going to pay the bills
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a debt problem. If you answered yes to more than one question, you might just have a serious debt problem.
Most people look for the easy or quick way out, but let’s face the facts:
- Your long lost rich uncle isn’t going to die and leave you with millions
- That eBay site you started isn’t going to make you millions in a couple of months
- That stock tip your buddy at work gave you the other day won’t make you rich overnight
- You won’t be able to call up your creditors and they’ll say “No problem Mr. glblguy, we just deleted all your debt. Thanks for calling.“
- You won’t find a treasure map while digging in your backyard garden that leads to untold riches.
- Continuing to think the problem will get better next month won’t get you anywhere.
Here’s the bad news: Getting out of debt won’t be easy. To be honest, it will take time and persistence and frankly be very difficult. The good news is you can do it, many many people have.
To get out of debt you need to recognize the problem, form a plan, and then begin digging out of debt slowly but surely(or as I like to say, little by little). As you begin to make progress you will see the light at the end of the tunnel (and no it won’t be a train). You will start to feel more in control, more confident, and feel the weight begin to lift off of your shoulders.
Ready to start? Ready to change your life? Well don’t just sit there, start right now!!
Studies show that by writing something down you are 90% more likely to succeed. If you’ve decided to get out of debt, please comment below. Place your commitment in writing and share it with others. If you were in debt and are now debt free, share your story in the comments to encourage others! If you blog, feel free to post a link about your success story or commitment.