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. Talking with many people about their struggles with debt has helped me to notice personality traits in myself and others that contribute to (or hinder) success in eliminating debt. Let’s focus on the personal characteristics that make debt repayment easier.
Before we start though, keep in mind that just because you don’t feel you have a certain trait doesn’t mean you can’t get it. While some people are born with certain traits and gifts, they can be cultivated as well. Also, this is by no means a complete list, nor is it a fail-proof recipe for success.
If you’re thrifty you may just keep yourself out of debt in the first place (though that wasn’t the case for us). For some, being frugal or thrifty comes easily. Using self-control with your money will make serious contributions to your debt repayment. After all, it’s the margin between your earning and spending that will give you the means to pay off your debt.
My husband and I both come from pretty frugal families. Spending little comes naturally to both of us and it makes a huge difference in our ability to pay off our debt. In most cases it’s not even really a sacrifice. We just have a hard time letting ourselves spend a lot.
Not being afraid to experiment with new ways of doing things can really pay off. Biking instead of driving, making your own cleaning products, cooking from scratch and trying your hand at gardening come easier when you have spirit or adventure. Venturing into earning extra money on the side is easier for those who are willing to take risks.
We are opting for a debt pay-off route that involves, what some may consider, the extreme frugality. Some people think we’re nuts, but our non-standard living arrangement actually works really well for us since we’re always up for an adventure. (I like to think it keeps us young too!)
While comparing yourself with others isn’t a good idea, competing with yourself can bring out your best. The most useful competition is with your “old self,” your goal, or the clock. People who set out to achieve goals are 100% more likely to reach them, than those who don’t.
My husband and I are both competitive. We like competing against each other in triathlons or Scrabble, but when it comes to our debt, we are on the same team. It’s us versus the loans. And WE are going to win!
In the words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t– you’re right!” Positive thinking goes a long way. When coupled with action, it materializes into wonderful things. Optimism also rubs off on those around you.
One of the great parts about being on a team (aka marriage) is that we can pull one another up when one of us is down. That keeps our optimism balance in the black (budget-ly speaking).
It’s Your Turn
- What personality traits have you noticed in yourself or others that make debt repayment easier?
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