Financial Life
7 Ways to Stay Motivated While Crushing Your Debt
17Oct 2017
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Written by Jessi Kohlhagen

Setting the intention to get out of debt is great… but is it enough?

Plenty of us have declared with passionate motivation, “Starting today, I will no longer charge anything to credit, I will increase my monthly payments for every bill that I owe, and I will crush my debt within the next year!!”

Then, over the course of a few weeks or months, we slowly lose our motivation and fall back into old habits.

Sound familiar??

Whether it’s credit cards, student loans, or a home mortgage — eliminating debt takes time, patience, loads of discipline, and perhaps most of all, consistent motivation.

Only by staying motivated can we win the goal.

Here are 7 ways to stay motivated and crush your debt, once and for all:

1. Take Responsibility

The first step on any journey is recognizing that you alone are responsible. No one is coming to your rescue (especially when it comes to paying off your debt), and the situation will never, ever improve by itself. You alone have the power to create the changes you wish to see. Remember this each time you experience the impulse to quit.

2. Get Crystal Clear

Before you can begin, you must get crystal clear on exactly what your debt goal is, WHY it’s important, and how you’re going to tackle it. In perfect Lifebook fashion, you’ve got to get your PVPS in order (Premise, Vision, Purpose and Strategy).

This level of crystal clarity will ensure that you not only have a plan, but that you can easily adjust course if need be, instead of giving up and sliding back into old patterns if things don’t work out 100% like you planned they would.

3. Stop Using Your Credit Cards. FOR REAL.

Most of us continue to use our credit cards, even as we’re trying to get out of debt. And it’s pretty easy to justify having them in case of an emergency. But the truth is — if you have credit handy, you will end up using it.

If we’re truly committed to staying motivated and getting out of debt for good, we have to stop charging to credit. Just put down the crack pipe! Learn to save and plan for emergencies without the use of credit, and make the commitment to going 100% credit-free.

4. Develop New Habits

Along with eliminating the use of credit, you must also develop new habits that will serve your on your quest toward debt-freedom. Clearly you can’t continue enabling the same old habits that got you into debt in the first place, right?

It’s time to start developing new habits such as using cash only, budgeting ALL of your expenses, not spending your money before you’ve earned it, eating out less, repairing/reusing items instead of buying new, etc.

Changing your habits not only changes your actions and behaviors… it rewires your brain and re-patterns how you perceive and experience your world.

5. Keep Your Goal In Sight DAILY

In order to maintain that daily dose of motivation, you have to keep your goal clearly in your sight… every single day. Out of sight, out of mind. If you get clear and make a plan, and then wait until the 1st of the month until you think about it again, chances are you’re going to lose your steam pretty quickly.

Keep your goal front and center, by adopting some simple daily habits, such as; reading debt-free affirmations, saying a debt-free prayer, listening to a financial audiobook or podcast, watching videos, reading articles and books, finding small places to save money, making small but responsible financial decisions, etc.

6. Find an Accountability Partner

An accountability partner will encourage and support you along the journey and, if you choose someone who has already tackled their debt, they can symbolize a beacon of hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

Debt is often heavily tied to shame, and social transparency can be a powerful antidote and tool for empowerment. Finding someone you can count on to encourage you and hold you accountable to your daily, weekly, and monthly goals can be the number one difference between your success and your failure.

7. Celebrate Every Win

The journey toward debt freedom can feel long, arduous, and incredibly boring at first. But over time, as your hard work begins to build on itself and show noticeable signs of improvement, it can create an unparalleled momentum and sense of motivation. You just have to get over the hump.

To do this, it’s important to continually remember your WHY, and notice (and celebrate!) each and every milestone you hit. Take a moment of gratitude EVERY time you chip away at your debt, make a responsible financial decision, save a little money, use cash instead of credit, notice a positive new habit taking root… any and every chance to honor your progress is a powerful opportunity to stay motivated and ultimately achieve your goal… to be 100% DEBT FREE!

Are you already out of debt, or on your way? Do you have any strategies or habits you’ve put in place that you’ve found particularly powerful?

Please share your wisdom with the Lifebook Community by commenting at the bottom of the post!

Here’s to creating financial freedom and achieving our extraordinary financial life visions!

The TRUTH About Your Finances
17Nov 2015
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Last week I did a 4 day anniversary Lifebook session in Chicago with an AMAZING group, deeply thinking through my Lifebook, my life vision and everything that matters in my life. Ironically I found myself cutting and deleting more than adding. Overall, the theme was simplification.

A very powerful process but one that would have been doomed from the beginning if I hadn’t done one simple thing first.

I had to figure out where what I was starting with.

In terms of financial intelligence and wealth there’s no more important question to ask then, where am at right now?

It’s fascinating to hear friends and clients tell me how stressed they are financially. When I ask them why so stressed, the answer: “because I’m working 80 hours a week and barely keeping up.” I ask why and they say because I have to, I have responsibilities. Sound familiar?

So what do you do? Start with these 2 questions… More…

How to Create Forever Cash (audio)
07Jul 2015
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Uncover the strategies Lifebook Member Jack Bosch used to become a millionaire by age 35 in his interview with Jon Butcher this month.

Jack is an entrepreneur, a nationally recognized speaker, and a wealth mentor… and in this interview, he challenges the very way we think about money, and what retirement means.

Jack shares his view of The American Dream and reveals the following:

• Why one won’t get wealthy by working the 9-5 life for 40 years and investing in a 401K.
• How obtaining wealth doesn’t have to lead to taking major risks.
• Why the rich think differently about money and what we can learn from them.
• Ways to earn seed money – and to save money – so that you can begin to invest these funds.
• Ways we can invest our money so a cash flow develops that can be reinvested and finally lived off of.
• What the top two reasons are for failing financially — and how to avoid them.
• How to differentiate a good investment from a bad one. More…

Focusing on Financial Life Without Focusing on Money-Making
07Jul 2015
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By: Lifebook Member Colleen Cardarella

Last year I shifted my category of focus to my financial life for a while.

I knew I wanted to improve this area of my life. My financial score was in the above average range, but I was wrestling with something when I answered the financial questions on the Intra-Spect Assessment.  I was saying to myself as I answered that section, “I could be doing better here…and it really wouldn’t be difficult…I just need to spend the time on it.”

So, for the next several months I worked on this area of my life. I raised my financial score 20 points to an extraordinary score.  Nothing I did to raise my score involved making more money. Everything had to do with organizing, planning and managing my financial life better. More…

The 20 Wealthiest People of All Time (and how they got that way)
26May 2015
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Who were the wealthiest people EVER?

This list of the twenty richest, based on scholarly estimates and adjusted for inflation, includes entrepreneurs, warriors, and robber barons. Monarchs are not included, whose vast wealth is considered public.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Carlos Slim are the only living men who crack the list — and that’s only counting their net worth at bubble peaks in 1999 and 2007.

You’ll notice much of the list come from England and America. Partly this happens because that’s where estimates were available. But it’s also true extreme private wealth occurred only several times in history, such as: The great lords of England, the Gilded Age, and today’s credit bubble. More…

9 Habits of Debt-Free People
26May 2015
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King Solomon said, “The borrower is slave to the lender.”

When you take on debt, you become a slave. Your future earnings become spoken for… You’ve spent your money before you’ve even earned it.

Debt is a mortgage on your future.

But what actually separates those who are debt-free from those who are debt-enslaved?

We know it isn’t income.  We’ve all heard of the man who makes only $30,000 per year, yet manages to live debt-free and save millions of dollars over the course of his lifetime, while the millionaire declares bankruptcy because he fails to manage his cash flow and live within his means.

The truth is anyone – and we mean ANYONE – can become debt-free.

Dave Ramsey said, “People who become debt free have decided that enough is enough.  They know that their old lifestyle isn’t working, and they’re ready to make some serious changes.”

Here are 9 habits you can adopt to wipe out your debts and take one step closer to financial freedom: More…

How to Improve Your Finances Without Making More Money
13Apr 2015
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By: Colleen Cardarella

Last year I shifted my category of focus to my financial life for a while.

I knew I wanted to improve this area of my life. My financial score was in the above average range, but I was wrestling with something when I answered the financial questions on the Intra-Spect Assessment.  I was saying to myself as I answered that section, “I could be doing better here…and it really wouldn’t be difficult…I just need to spend the time on it.”

So, for the next several months I worked on this area of my life. I raised my financial score 20 points to an extraordinary score.  Nothing I did to raise my score involved making more money. Everything had to do with organizing, planning and managing my financial life better.

Step 1: Assessing and Consolidating

My husband and I had never finished merging our financial lives after our wedding. We went through all our banking information to consolidate accounts and fully understand everything we had as a couple.

Step 2: Setting Retirement Goals and Plans

With consolidated accounts, we started looking at our retirement accounts from a joint perspective. We discussed our retirement goals and had an analysis done by a professional to make sure we were on track to reach those goals.  Simply knowing we had this plan and how we could meet it provided incredible peace of mind and contributed to my growth in this category.

Step 3: Finding a Good Accountant

I no longer do my taxes on my own. I hired a good accountant who truly helps identify wiser ways to manage our money.

Step 4: Getting All Those Affairs You Don’t Want to Deal With in Order

I don’t know anyone who enjoys writing a will, setting up a healthcare proxy, or thinking through all the paperwork you should have in place in the event of a terrible illness or tragedy. I dreaded this process, but received some advice that made it easier. Here it is…

You don’t have to spend a ton of time and legal fees setting this up the first time. Go on a site like LegalZoom and just get it done. Then you’ll have something in place. You can go back and do a more detailed form with an attorney after that, but at least get something in place.

Step 5: Getting your Health and Fitness Checked

Yes, getting all those healthcare checkups added to my financial score. Why? Because putting off everything from dentist appointments, to eye exams to more intense medical checkups leaves a big question in your mind.  What if?

What if I am going to need that big medical expense in the near future.  If you’re thinking something might be wrong, or you have a family medical history of something hereditary – get it checked out.  That doesn’t mean you won’t still have health problems, but you’ll remove a lot of questions and concerns that can add financial stress.

Step 6: Organizing Financial Systems

Whatever system you want to use, set it up. This includes electronic bill pay and personal finance software, or even a filing system. Pick the system that works for you and set it up.

Step 7: Reviewing Recurring Expenses and Making Sure You’re Not Overpaying

The cable company charged me a monthly fee for their modem, so I bought my own.  We stopped into the store where we bought our phones and asked if there were any savings we were not taking advantage of and they gave us a better rate on our plan.  We talked to the credit card company and got a higher number of reward points per dollar.  I could go on and on with examples here. These are all little things. But for me, knowing I really understand what’s on my monthly bill, versus just paying it was a worthwhile exercise.

There’s one more step I did not do during that time. But it needs to be added to this list. Checking your credit. It’s easy. Despite all the companies that want to sell you your credit score, it is free.  You can request a credit report from any reporting agency for free once a year. With 3 major companies out there, you can request all 3 at once, or you can spread it out over the year – asking 1 credit company every 4 months.

So, I found there was a lot more making up my financial score than my income. Now with all those financial affairs in order, I can focus on the income part of my financial life… Which is much more fun than writing a will, or setting up Quickbooks, or getting a checkup.

Become a Money Magnet (MP3)
15Jan 2015
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For a limited time only you have complimentary access to Lifebook’s Financial Audio Program by Founder Jon Butcher. Created exclusively for Lifebook VIP Members, Jon releases one audio program per month focusing on a specific category. This audio is a powerful exploration of your financial life.

Normally a $99 program, today it’s yours FREE.

Click here to listen now

In this financial audio you will:

  • Discover the TRUE NATURE of money: what is it, and why do we really need it?
  • Get in touch with the powerful PURPOSE for your financial life – What is it really all for?
  • Realize that true wealth has nothing to do with the amount of money in your bank account, and everything to do with your MINDSET
  • Learn how to use GRATITUDE FOR YOU CURRENT STATE as a magnet for ATTRACTING MORE MONEY INTO YOUR FUTURE
  • Discover how to SET AN ACHIEVABLE VISION for your financial life – one that fits who you are and how you want to live
  • End the audio feeling 10X richer than you do right now
  • Apply these lessons to your life to bring your wealth potential into reality

Click here to listen now

(right click the player and “save as” to download to your computer)

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4 Ways To Stop Fighting About Money & Get On The Same Team
07Dec 2014
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Money is one of the most popular topics for argument between couples. What starts out as an intention for discipline and awareness can quickly turn into a barrage of negative emotions; frustration, stress, overwhelm, judgment – the list goes on.  We’ve all been there.  But does it really have to be that way?

The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT.  As a matter of fact, it CAN’T be that way if we want to achieve financial freedom, live our very best lives, and experience extraordinary love relationships.

With a little positive persistence and conscious calculation, you and your partner can be on the road toward financially free (and stress free) discussions in no time.

Here are 5 ways to stop fighting and start growing as an empowered team: More…

A 6-Minute QRP Quickie, by Damion Lupo
21Oct 2014
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Find out how you can avoid paying taxes and grow your money TAX FREE as Lifebook VIP Member Damion Lupo shares a 6-minute quick tip to expand your Financial Life…

Click here to watch the video.