Debt Finances & Money

An Attitude for Being Debt Free

by Clever Dudette

“I am never going to get out of debt. Why should I even bother?”

Have you ever thought that you will never get out of debt or that your financial troubles will always bring you down, that you are going to be haunted by your past mistakes forever?

Besides all of the practical information that you may read on Cleverdude and other personal finance sites, there is one thing for certain: You must have the right ATTITUDE for getting out of debt.

Now, before you think I’m crazy, there IS some credit to the thought about having the right attitude for success. When you think that you will succeed and when you can mentally picture yourself succeeding, you are more likely to take steps to do so.

Let me give you an example:

Alex thinks that he will get out of debt. He made so many mistakes in college, and now he is stuck with $20,000 on his credit cards.

He runs by a TV store and decides to stop in for a break (aka “just to browse”). He sees a 60 inch TV. “Wow, I need that”, he thinks. He then thinks of his debt and says to himself, “I’m never going to get rid of this debt, so what’s more debt?”.

He doubts his ability to succeed in what he wants (to be debt-free!) so, he makes a silly decision to continue that debt and continue, in his mind, to fail. He buys the TV. And with the surround-sound stereo system. Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, it looks wonderful on his wall. Yes, the upcoming football season will be so much better now that he has that TV. But wait, his new credit card balance is WHAT?!? His monthly payment is THAT! How much of his salary?!!? Oops….He thinks he failed…and he starts the debt cycle again.

Let’s change that scenario:

Alex goes running. He goes into a TV store and sees a beautiful 60 inch LED TV. Wow, look at that picture! Then, he remembers his dream of being debt-free. He sees himself with no credit card debt, buying the TV (even cheaper because as it won’t be as new, the cost will have decreased), with CASH because he saved up for it. He decides to wait on buying the TV because he is in the midst of a plan to reduce his debt. Yes, he will wait on that instant gratification of the new TV and he will buy it when he is financially ready. He walks out of the store with a smile on his face. The TV will be his, in due time, because he will buy it when it is right for him financially.

So, the moral of this story:

Visualize yourself debt-free. Come back to this thought any time you are feeling doubtful of your ability to reduce that debt. If you can visualize it, you can achieve it!

Stay positive about your accomplishments, no matter how small, in reducing that debt. And, if you are just starting out trying to manage and reduce your debt, remember, you realized your debt! That’s step number one. Good job! Now, go do something about it.

Stay focused! You are on a path to reduce your debt!

Everything happens in due time. You don’t need that shiny new object now. Plan for it and you will feel better about it when you purchase it on the right timeline for your budget.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I completely agree! A positive attitude is a requirement when it comes to paying off debt. If you can visualize yourself being debt free, you can also use the same positive attitude to improve your personal credit profile as well!

  • Hah! Why hello Clever Dudette 🙂 Is the Mr. being lazy right now? Although this is a pretty good post. Totally agree w/ having a good attitude about this money stuff!!

  • I think self-doubt is a factor for many problems, indebtedness being just one of them. What compounds the problem is that some people in this situation not only doubt their ability to pay the debt, they also doubt their own ability to make more money or get a better job. They often feel like they are stuck and unable to do this on their own and they turn to worldly possessions to take their mind off of it.

    Some with this attitude (but not necessarily the money problems) are actually depressed and need to see a doctor. Get screened, at least. Just knowing what is wrong is often enough to help. CBT and the right medication often help people turn things around and get on the right track.

  • I couldn’t agree more – attitude is everything! Attitude becomes action, and without changing how we view spending and debt we will never change our lot in life.

  • Great post! this particular topic has to do with the saying that “what mind can conceive you can then achieve”. In life we have to invite positives and might as well believe that we can recover and achieve our goals in time. If you always try to include negatives and think that you might now recover then how can you then recover if you are not helping yourself in the first place. To be out of debt is no easy to do and oftentimes if you just think how to get out of it but never do anything, how can you prosper?. Life has a lot to offer and so we are all have the capability to make a miracle for ourselves. We just believe we can and do what is right then everything follows.

  • That is sooooo true indeed. I relate to the second version of Alex. I always wanted to stay debt free and I have achieved that thanks to my deferred gratification mentality. It’s all about the attitude. Thanks for this great post.

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