This post is from friend and blogger Ben Edwards of Money Smart Life.Stopping bullets with your mind is no easy feat. It took Neo quite a while to hack the laws of a computer program called “The Matrix” in order to achieve that outcome. In fact, he failed and nearly died a time or two before mastering that skill.
Do you ever feel like Neo, dodging the bullets of debt collectors and outrageously high bills with little hope of escape? Your debt doesn’t have to kill you. You too, can bend your mind and find the freedom that seems so convincingly elusive. So grab a cup of water, gulp down the red pill, and absorb this debt advice from the Matrix that you can use to escape the prison of debt that’s holding you captive.
1. The Matrix of Marketing
The Matrix held Neo for years without him knowing the truth. How? Marketing. The entire Matrix was a marketing scheme, designed to keep those within its grasp compliant and unaware of the truth.
The truth is that debt can be a trap. Lenders are not there to “help” you, they are there to make money in the form of interest. While there are certainly less sinister forms of debt than others, their end goal is to charge you interest and fees. Lenders have come up with brilliant marketing schemes to have you believe that you deserve what you can’t afford, and show you the way to get it: to take on more debt.
Sure, transfer your debt to a credit card or personal loan with a low interest rate, but avoid taking on more debt. This one tip alone, if implemented, will eventually allow you to escape the debt trap. See past the marketing, and live within your means. Neo knew there was a better way, and you do too.
2. Downloading Information Into Your Brain
Knowing how to get out and stay out of debt is only the first step. In order to win the fight, you have to believe you can and that you will. You’ll need the motivation it takes to start and stick to your plan.
Remember Neo’s first fight? Morpheus understood that there was more to winning than knowing the moves. Neo had to believe he could defeat Morpheus. Or how about the jump program? Morpheus cleared it because of faith, Neo fell because didn’t believe he could make it.
What you believe about your debt situation is important. Believe you can escape, and eventually, with time, you will! So plug in, learn how to get out of debt, and then believe you have what it takes to overcome it.
3. Agents of Opposition
Agent Smith and his minions focused their efforts on Neo. Why? Because Neo not only wanted to free himself from the system, but he wanted to free others as well.
If you’re fired up about getting out of debt, expect opposition. Those who have bought into the marketing will mock your newfound budget, explain that monthly payments are a way of life, and destroy any hope you have of escape. Don’t let the agents of opposition inject you with their way of thinking. Be free!
4. You’re Living in Two Worlds
Neo soon found out that the world he thought was real actually wasn’t – it was an illusion world created to entrap his mind.
Right now, this very second, understand that some of your beliefs about debt might not be true or right for your current circumstances. You might be enjoying a credit card you shouldn’t be using, considering a bank loan for a home remodel that you can’t afford, or thinking about a new car that is way above your pay grade.
Challenge your beliefs about debt with an open mind. While you might think a certain level of debt is acceptable in your life, it might be negatively affecting your overall financial plan, straining your relationships, or disabling you from overcoming unexpected bills and emergencies.
5. Find Your Morpheus and Trinity
Neo wasn’t alone. He had Morpheus, Trinity, and many others who not only woke him up to the truth, but taught him how to operate within it. Once you decide to overcome and pay off your debt, you’re going to need a team of supportive individuals.
If you’re married, talk with your spouse about everything you’ll be able to accomplish by when you’re debt free. Perhaps you’ll be able to take more vacations, fund your children’s college education, or put more money toward retirement. Show your spouse the vision of what it will look like to be free from the bondage of debt.
If you’re single and handling the finances on your own, be sure to find some accountability. Ask a good friend or family member to help you stick to your budget so that you can pay down your debt.
Neo understood the importance of his team being on the other end of the phone line. Make sure you have an open line of communication with your team when you become discouraged or need help removing yourself from a dangerous situation (for example, a shopping mall).
Like Neo, you can choose to think differently and discover freedom. Find the information you need, implement it, and break free. Hack your way to safety and start paying off your debt today!
What piece of debt advice or lesson do you most resonate with? What’s helped you escape the matrix of debt in your life?
More Debt Advice from Debt Heroes
Of course Neo is a fictional hero, to read about real life Debt Heroes and how they got into and out of debt check out the book Debt Heroes. As part of a collaboration with the Debt Movement the book looks at your personal journey to get out of debt and looks at various methods of people who have successfully paid off their debt.