Setting Yourself Up For Success To Pay Off Your Debt

Are you ready to pay off your debt but have no clue where to start?

Read the first post in my series about paying off your debt, then come back and read this, our second post in the series.

Now that you know everything about your debt, including how much you owe in total, it is time to take the next step in your debt pay off journey.

Hopefully you’ve let the magnitude of the debt that you owe sink in.

You Need A New Mindset

You know that you’re in consumer debt. You can no longer deny it. You’ve added up the numbers yourself.

There is only one way that people get into consumer debt. You spent more money than you earned. Plain and simple.

So how do you get out of debt?

The answer is just as easy on the surface. You have to spend less than you’re earning. That isn’t all though. You need to spend a significant amount less so that you can both make the minimum payments on your debt AND still pay extra to knock out your debt quickly.

Why is it important that you pay your consumer debt off quickly? Consumer debt is an emergency!

You’ve set your financial life on fire by going into consumer debt. The only way out is to slowly put the fire out by suffocating it completely through paying off your consumer debt permanently.

Once you realize this, you’re on the right path but you’re just at the beginning of the road. Don’t get frustrated and whatever you do, don’t give up already.

My wife and I know exactly how you feel. When we were staring at minimum payments over over $700 per month for over $80,000 of student loan debt we thought it’d take decades to get out of her debt.

Luckily, we saw the light and followed the exact path I’m explaining now. We ended up paying off all $80,000+ of my wife’s student loan debt within just three short years.

You can get out of debt, too. So how do you get started along the path?

Quit Using Consumer Debt Forever Starting Now

The first step is breaking the cycle of going deeper into consumer debt. You MUST give up consumer debt all together.

You can no longer use the tools that enabled you to get yourself into the situation you’re in now. Are you ready to make that commitment? When you are, continue reading.

Now that you’ve decided to give up consumer debt for good it’s time act on that promise to yourself.

You can no longer use credit cards. You can’t take out payday loans anymore. No more borrowing money from friends, family or co-workers. No borrowing money from anyone. No more going into debt for consumer purchases.

This is serious and you should treat it that way.

Remove The Temptation

The best way to give up consumer debt for good is removing any temptation from your daily life.

Go cut up your credit cards or freeze them in a block of ice so thick that you can’t get to it for an impulsive consumer purchase.

Go out of your way to avoid the payday loan shop that you normally stop at to get some quick cash.

Tell your friends and family straight up to never, ever loan you money again. Heck, your friends and family will probably be quite happy about that!

Are you addicted to shopping online at with your Amazon Prime membership? Cancel it and remove your credit cards from their system. Turn off one click ordering and remove your Amazon bookmark from your browser.

You must make sure to remove anything that tempts you to spend money that will put your further into debt.

Trust me. After a couple of months you won’t miss spending money as much as you think you will.

Making the conscious decision to change your mindset is no easy task but it is absolutely essential if you want to change your relationship with your money and destroy your consumer debt forever.

Once you’re committed to the new mindset and have let it sink in for a bit you’ll be ready to begin tackling the next steps of the debt pay off process.

The next step is figuring out how you got into debt in the first place. Read about it here.

Have you ever changed your mindset on your money and how you spend it?

Have you committed to never go into consumer debt again?

Let me know about your debt story in the comments below! Help inspire others if you’ve already conquered your debt or let me know what you’re struggling with if you’re trying to pay your debt off. I want to help you!

Like What You See?

Join the other readers who have signed up for our email newsletter! No spam, just periodic updates to help improve your finances!

About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. That mindset is so vital to have, otherwise you’re much less likely to see long term success in my opinion. That mindset helps you switch from the consumerist mindset to one that is committed to making your money work for you.

  2. I really like the “remove the temptation” advice, Lance. I don’t trust myself with credit cards. Maybe one day I’ll be able to take advantage of the credit card rewards programs and use them to my advantage…..but for now, I’ll avoid them like the plague. 🙂

  3. Luckily I never had a problem with consumer debt but I understand the mentality of not putting yourself in the position of being tempted. When I decided to lose weight the only way I could avoid drinking soda and eating sweets was to not keep them in my home.

  4. This is right on point that debt is a behavior problem before anything else. Good advice.

  5. All great points! I have never had consumer debt but when I was close to going over budget I would take all of my credit cards out of my wallet so I couldn’t buy anything.

Share Your Thoughts