What’s Your Motivation To Pay Off Debt?

motivation pay off debt
What makes you tick?  What is it that makes us put things on hold to run away or ignore the problem? What is it that motivates us to make the right choices, to be better in our personal lives and to tackle the serious uncomfortable issues that lead to stress.

We are constantly making promises to better ourselves. Whether you’re the struggling student who just can’t focus on the books, someone trying to lead a healthier lifestyle or someone who needs to deal with their debt, it’s important to find ways to motivate yourself to follow through on the personal promises that you make. Motivation looks different for everyone, but it’s the end result that really matters.

Dr. Piers Steel from the University of Calgary has written a fantastic book, The Procrastination Equation, that was featured in the National Post.  In his book he states that procrastination affects 95% of the general population and boils down to three key elements:

  1. Lack of Self-Confidence;
  2. Being disinterested; and
  3. Impulsiveness (which distracts us from the important task at hand).

So how does dealing with debts and finances tie into procrastination?

Having financial problems is commonly linked to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, self-loathing and a strong desire to do anything but face the harsh reality. It is not until we HAVE to do something, that finally DO something. As a result, we’ve spent countless hours (and energy) worrying, fretting and stressing unnecessarily. A common expression we hear from clients is “I wish I came to see you sooner. I would have saved myself a lot of anxiety and thousands of dollars by not making useless interest-only payments on my debts”.

Here is my fourth element to procrastination:

4. Misinformation

We put off the undesirable because we think it’s worse than it really is. We listen to friends and family without going to the licensed professional for clear, honest and FREE advice. Here are a few common misconceptions when it comes to dealing with debts:

  • Myth: Bankruptcy is the only way to deal with my debts.
    • Fact: Bankruptcy is a last resort. 66% of our clients file a consumer proposal as an alternative to bankruptcy.
  • Myth: My credit rating will be destroyed and ruined for years to come. I’ll never qualify for a car loan or mortgage.
    • Fact: Filing a consumer proposal or a personal bankruptcy actually helps to rebuild your credit because it gives you a fresh start. Filing a consumer proposal allows you to retain your home, and the mortgage will renew automatically.
  • Myth: I’m going to lose all of my assets (Home, Car, RESPs, etc.) if I file a bankruptcy or consumer proposal.
    • Fact: Most assets are already exempt when you file a bankruptcy. In a consumer proposal, your assets are not affected.
  •  Myth: If I’m sued in court (small claims or the Superior Court) or I owe money for taxes to CRA, my only option is to pay the debt.
    • Fact: Filing a consumer proposal or a personal bankruptcy will stop a wage garnishment immediately and protects wages and other assets. A proposal or bankruptcy can also deal with debts related to income tax.
  • Myth: The trustee works for the creditors and will do everything they can to get as much money for the creditors as possible. They aren’t interested in helping me or bettering my situation.
    • Fact: The trustee acts as a referee between all parties. We do not represent debtors or creditors; we ensure that the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act is followed by everyone involved.

How can I motivate family and friends to deal with their debts?

Just as ignoring your own financial problems can be dangerous, staying silent about a friend’s or family member’s issues enables them to continue avoiding asking for help. Motivating them to acknowledge the problem, discussing their options and even working along side them to reach their goal can offer the support that they need to get started. Staging a financial intervention could mean as little as saying “I’m here to help you,” to as much as attending a consultation with them to discuss their options. Often, having a friend or family member beside them can help them to make a decision and hold them accountable for dealing with their debt.

So what is your motivation to finally deal with your overwhelming debt? Whether it’s collection calls, the threat of a wage garnishment, or simply a desire to reduce your stress and repay your debts, the important thing is that you take the first step toward becoming debt free. If you’re ready to get started, contact a local advisor to book a no obligation, free consultation to review your options.

Find your motivation to take control of your debt.

Join the Conversation

  1. AvatarPiers Steel

    Thanks for referencing my book. And you are right about the myths. Finances is not my area of specialty, but many agencies have two departments, including the tax department. If you are in default and you go to them, you go to one group of people that actually want to work with you. They are looking for solutions. If they come to you, well that’s a different department. You won’t like that department.

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