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Being in debt is suffocating. Worrying about making your monthly payments is draining. On the contrary, being debt-free is just the opposite: it’s refreshing, liberating, and has a tremendous positive impact on your life.

I’ve been in and out of debt several times myself over the years. Sometimes it was debt from medical bills or unforeseen circumstances. That didn’t make the stress any less. The truth is, if I had planned well, stayed out debt consistently, and been more disciplined BEFORE the unforeseen events, then I probably wouldn’t have gotten in debt at all, or at a minimum, I would have been prepared to deal with it more quickly, and with less turmoil.

The truth is, though, like most people, my debt was due to the same old thing: buying things I couldn’t afford, not budgeting, and blowing my income impulsively. "No money down, low month payments, low introductory rates"… all the same enticements that tempt us to think "only $100 a month, I can afford that." Thinking in "minimum monthly payments"… a sure fire recipe for financial disaster.

Getting out of debt has so many benefits; it’s hard to think of them all. Stress over money is the number one stated cause of divorce. Stress makes us fat, saps our energy, and destroys our health. Debt and stress rob us of relationships and enjoyment. Debt causes depression and hopelessness. It’s a monster.[TIPJAR]

Admitting you’ve done a sorry job handling your money or that you’ve fallen for all the consumer marketing gimmicks is not easy. Often, we want to make excuses and justify our debt when most of the time it’s the result of one thing: buying a lifestyle your income cannot afford. You don’t have to be an "addict" or "out of control" to get in debt. It’s a very simple and devious formula: consistently spend more money than you make over a period of time, and as sure as the sun rising in the east, you’ll find yourself in debt.

Here’s what you have to do: 1) Admit you’ve not been diligent in the area of finances, 2) recognize your impulsive spending habits, and 3) commit to the reasons why you SHOULD be debt-free. No excuses, no whining, no B.S.

With rare exceptions, people primarily get into debt because they want more lifestyle than they can afford. Understand that, and you are on your way.

I’ve written a book on the subject that will teach you to get out of debt as fast as possible, and stay out of debt: Life Without Debt