Crush Debt Fast (While Staying Motivated) There's a moment when the alarm bells ring and you realize you're thousands of dollars in the red. Want to dig out fast? Welcome to the X Games of escaping debt, in which you shut down almost all your spending, take on a side job, endure the most extreme steps you can on a gritty marathon to a better place. It's hard, but fun and rewarding too.

Here's what to remember:
- Set a specific goal, such as "debt free in two years."
- Have an advance plan to resist future temptation.
- Find ways to make the challenge fun — it can't be all pain and sacrifice.
- You'll need social support. Enlist your family and community.
- Divide the bigger challenge into smaller goals to keep up momentum.
- Reward yourself — but not with a big expense that throws you off track.
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Crush Debt Fast (While Staying Motivated)

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Crush Debt Fast (While Staying Motivated)

Crush Debt Fast (While Staying Motivated)

Crush Debt Fast (While Staying Motivated)

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/694669932/714011875" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
sorbetto/Getty Images
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sorbetto/Getty Images

There's a moment when the alarm bells ring and you realize you're thousands of dollars in the red. Want to dig out fast? Welcome to the X Games of escaping debt, in which you shut down almost all spending, take on a side job and endure the most extreme measures you can bear on a gritty marathon to a better place. It's hard, but fun and rewarding too.

Here's what to remember:

    • Set a specific goal, such as "debt free in two years"
    • Plan to resist temptation. — cash in envelopes can work!
    • Find ways to make the challenge fun — it can't be all pain and sacrifice.
    • You'll need social support. Enlist your family and community.
    • Divide the bigger challenge into smaller goals to keep up momentum.
    • Reward yourself — but not with a big expense that throws you off track.