How You Can Conquer Debt Faster

Debt. It’s the word we all hate. But for many of us, it’s a way of life. Today a few of our Certified Financially Fit Bootcamp coaches are sharing their debt termination experiences. Here are their secrets for conquering debt:

Achievable Steps Help You Conquer Fear

The first step, says Linda Emslie, is to conquer your fear. It’s easy to act as if your debt doesn’t exist or to only pay minimum payments without taking a good hard look at where you are. But as Linda says, overcoming your fear early on is important. Don’t judge yourself for your past choices. Keep thinking about moving forward toward Financial Freedom.

“There is a little pain, there is a little fear, there is an uncanny opportunity for you to just sit and do nothing and allow paralysis to set in,” Linda said. “So the important thing is to do tiny achievable steps and keep yourself moving forward and always bear in mind the end goal here is freedom. It’s really important that you remember that what you’re striving to do here is to set yourself free from whatever cycle of debt you’re currently in.”

Review Where You Came From

Debt termination revolves around your Perfect Account Structure and your Pay Yourself First number. Putting in the time to set up your accounts correctly and automate your payments makes debt termination that much easier.

“You’ve gotten through the important stuff about identifying your freedom number and how you’re going to create the surplus to get that number and start paying yourself first,” Linda said. “And then we get to the really interesting bits where you set up the Perfect Account Structure. But to get that working for you automate your payments and then start on my favorite bit which is the debt termination plan.”

The Snowball Effect


After you’ve reviewed your Perfect Account Structure and your Pay Yourself First amount, list out your debts smallest to largest. Tackle your smallest debt first so you can gradually snowball into the rest. As you go, you’ll gain momentum and before you know it, you’ll be debt free. (For specifics, check out last week’s article on balancing debt with Paying Yourself First.)

“It’s a really important process,” says Certified Coach and Specialist Susan Whelan, “Because what it does is accelerate you on the road to Financial Freedom a whole lot quicker.”

Letting Your Pay Yourself First Amount Work For You

Once you’ve got your list, Specialist Andy Woodward says to apply two-thirds of your PYF amount in addition to the monthly payment to your smallest debt. That little bit extra added to the minimum payment will help pay off your debt much quicker.

When the first debt is paid, take the minimum payment for that debt plus two-thirds of your Pay Yourself First amount and add it to the minimum payment for the second debt. Each time you pay off a debt, apply the minimum payment of that debt plus your Pay Yourself First amount to the next. Keep going until all your debt is paid off. Working strategically through your debt this way helps you start small and work your way to the finish.

“The key for me has been listing those debts from smallest to largest and then applying two thirds of my [Pay Yourself First Amount] to the first debt,” Andy said. “And once that’s gone, you move on to the next one, increasing the amount that you’re paying over and above the minimum by that two-third amount of the surplus. This gives you an enormously empowering feeling both that you’re eliminating your debt but also working towards increasing your wealth and getting that power over the debt that has probably today stopped you from doing what you really wanted to do.”

Watching Your Debt Disappear

Your debt amount may seem insurmountable right now. But by using the debt termination strategy, you’ll go faster than you think.

Susan says it would have taken four years to pay off her credit card debt using just her minimum payments. But when she added two-thirds of her Pay Yourself First amount to her minimum payments, her debt termination snowballed. And she’ll soon be debt-free! Now, the money she used to terminate her debt goes to her Pay Yourself First Account.

“Working through this debt termination structure…[means] now I’m out of debt in close to ten months,” Susan said. “And that’s incredible because now I have that bulk amount that can go straight into my Pay Yourself First [Account]. So while that Pay Yourself First initially might be small, by the time you’ve got this debt terminated, it’s incredible how fast that can actually happen for you.”

Reach Out To Your MindShift.Money Community

And last, but not least, Linda says, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Jump on the Facebook group to ask your community about problems you’re having or to just look for encouragement. While the journey ahead may seem hard, it’s totally doable, especially when you’ve got a supportive community surrounding you!

Do you have a debt termination success story? Share it in the Financial Foundations Community! We’d love to hear your story–and maybe even feature you as one of our future Community Success Stories!


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