Just about every Wednesday, I publish a “Debt Discussion,” an article about a debt-related topic. My hope is that these discussions will allow us a place to talk about debt openly and get ideas and encouragement from one another.
I have divided my debt articles up into subcategories here for easy navigation. If you have an idea for a future debt discussion topic, please submit your idea at the bottom of the page.
Are You in Debt Denial?— Between the private nature of debt and the “stuck” feelings associated with it, debt becomes a prime candidate for denial. “Maybe if I just ignore it, it will go away.” Let’s stop denying debt and start discussing and destroying it!
How to Get Started Paying Off Debt–– Are you ready to get serious about paying off debt but don’t know where to start? Here are the important basic steps for how to get started paying off debt.
Deciding on a Debt-Free Date— If you are currently working on paying off debt, have you set a “debt-free date”– a date on the calendar when you plan to be completely out of debt? If you haven’t set one, you should! Here’s how!
Debt Tracking Tools— How do you keep track of you debt payoff?
Making Sacrifices— What are you willing to give up to get out of DEBT? If you want different results, you’re going to have to DO something different. It’s going to take SACRIFICE. Everyone’s sacrifices are different. What are yours?
How’s Your Plumbing–– A plumbing analogy for handling debt. Is your first response to a plumbing emergency the same way you handle debt and budgeting emergencies?
Should You Pay Off Your Student Loans Fast or Just Pay the Minimum?— Should you pay off student loans fast or invest? Here are some pros and cons of paying off student loans quickly or sticking with the minimum payment. Of course it’s personal. What’s your preference?
How Long Did You Wait to Get Serious About Debt?— You can take “getting serious about your debt” to mean what you like. For me, it meant setting a debt-free date and having that goal be our primary financial focus.
Staying on Track
Daring to Disclose Debt-– Have you felt like the only one struggling with debt? Keeping debt secret seems to be hurting everyone. Are you ready to disclose your debt?
The Fine Line of Patience in Debt Repayment-– Patience is a virtue we can all improve on, but having too much patience can be bad for those of us who are in debt. At the same time, having too little patience will make you crazy with anxiety and stress. When it comes to debt, do you have too much patience or not enough?
Accountability— If your goal is to be debt-free, you need to be held accountable to someone besides yourself. There are people you are naturally accountable to and people you can choose to be accountable to. Both can greatly enhance to your success at becoming debt-free.
Avoiding Fits and Starts in Debt Repayment— Do you have bursts of energy and enthusiasm, then a couple months later have trouble finding motivation? What do you do to be consistent in your resolve to pay off your debt?
Banishing Budget-Breaking Binge Behavior— When you feel like the budget is ruined on the first week of the month, it can be easy to want to throw in the towel for the rest of the month and decide to try again next month.
Avoiding Entitlement in Debt Repayment— When we stop feeling entitled, we will start feeling empowered! There is power in taking responsibility for your debt instead of claiming that things are unfair.
Debt in Hindsight: What would you do differently?— They say that hindsight is 20/20. Looking back at how you got yourself into debt, would you do anything differently? Let’s learn from one another’s experiences!
On Insurance and Emergency Funds (and a Bad Day)-– Even in the midst of serious debt repayment, having adequate insurance and an emergency fund is essential. We were grateful we had these in place when we had a really bad day.
Receiving Unsolicited Financial Advice— We’ve all been on both the giving and receiving side when it comes to unsolicited financial advice. What makes some unsolicited advice appreciated and some offensive?
Giving Unsolicited Financial Advice— When it comes to finances, we all have at least two cents to share. While many people wait for others to ask for their advice, others feel compelled to share without an invitation. Do you keep quiet or share your two cents? Here are some things to consider.
Debt Detox: A discussion on Debt and Dieting— Some thoughts on similarities between paying off debt and dieting.
Dealing with Discouragement— Dealing with debt can be long and overwhelming road. Most people face discouragement at some point. Here are some great tips (and more in the comments) for dealing with discouragement.
Celebrating Your Success— For many (or even most) people, doing a little something extra to celebrate a milestone helps make it more meaningful. Reaching milestones will give you the psychological boost you need to keep going.
Exercising Our Debt Muscles— “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I am a firm believer that challenges and difficulties in life, can be turned to our good. Here’s how DEBT is making us Stronger!
The Formula for Financial Freedom— The answer to getting out of debt, saving for the future and any other financial goal is the application of the same formula. It’s not rocket science, but simple principles that not everyone puts into practice.
Can’t or Won’t— Sometimes we say “I can’t” when we really mean we don’t want to or aren’t willing to do something. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
Being Happy on Any Income— We’ve all heard that money can’t buy happiness, but do we believe it? Can we be happy on any income? Here are some ways to help you be happy in any financial situation.
Personality Traits that Make Debt Repayment Easier-– While no one will tell you that debt repayment is easy, there are some personality traits that can make your journey to debt-free easier.
Teaching Kids Through Debt— We have made some conscious choices to help our children understand and be a part of our debt repayment journey. How have you taught your children about debt or involved them in your debt repayment?
Yours, Mine, and Ours: Debt in Marriage— Debt can complicate and corrupt relationships. Let’s look at the way we define ownership of debt in marriage so we can improve finances and relationships.
Myths of the Minimum Payment-– If you’re paying just the minimum on your credit card, you need to read this!
Accepting Loans From Family— Would you accept loans from family members? Here’s a debt discussion looking at both sides of the argument. Also includes a list of ways families can help, even if a loan isn’t a good option.
Is it Safe to Use Balance Transfers in Debt Payoff?— The good, the bad and the ugly of balance transfers. Is leveraging balance transfers a good idea for you? Is it safe to use balance transfers to help pay off debt?
What We Learned From Using a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Student Loans— We used a credit card balance transfer to pay off $11,000 of federal student loans. Would we do it again? Here’s what we learned from our experience.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Risks and Considerations— The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program may sound great, but take a good look at these risks and considerations before putting all your eggs in the PSLF basket.
Should I Dip into Retirement or Borrow Money for School?
How Do I Tell My Spouse About My Debt?
Submit a Debt Discussion Topic
To submit an idea for a debt discussion or ask reader question, please fill out the the form at the bottom of the page.
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