07/14/2014 05:28 EDT | Updated 09/13/2014 05:59 EDT

How To Start Pulling Yourself Out of Debt

In modern times, we pride ourselves on being open-minded and scoff at some of the social conventions that held power over previous generations. Topics like religion, sexual orientation and race are spoken about much more freely now than they ever were in the past. And yet, there is one taboo that we can't shake ourselves free from.

No one wants to talk about debt.

Debt is like an elephant in the room that has started to dip it's trunk into the spinach dip. It's there.

Everybody knows it's there -- but nobody wants to talk about.

It's impossibly difficult to fix a problem without reaching out for help. There are few things we can do on our own and eliminating debt often isn't one of them.

Here are my tips for accepting your financial situation in order to start eliminating your debt.

Accept the situation-- Before you can start fixing any problem, you need to know what the problem is. When it comes to debt, this involves gathering up all of your bills and/or credit card statements and laying them out on your kitchen table. Go through one by one and start calculating what you owe. Now that you have a better handle on the situation, you can...

Talk with a person you trust-- Sit down with a trusted friend, family member or mentor and tell them your situation. Be specific when describing your financial difficulties and don't hold back. Not only will this lift a tremendous weight off of your shoulders, it will also help you to understand the extent of your debt problem. Now that everything is out in the open...

Get professional help-- There is an entire industry built up around debt and the problems that come with it. That means there are numerous people you can turn to give you professional advice. Whether it's a trusted financial advisor at your bank or a non-profit credit counsellor, you will be able to find the help you need. These people have seen your situation before and will give you a path to success. Now that you have a plan...

Set goals and reach them-- Make your goals short-term and attainable. Why do this? Because short-term goals like knocking 5 per cent off your debt each month will ultimately lead to your long-term goal of becoming debt free. The important thing is to write the goals down and post them somewhere that you see them everyday. Don't be embarrassed about putting them on the fridge and having your friends see them when they come over for a visit. You may not be proud of falling into debt but you should be proud of overcoming it.

Suffering in silence is not the way to fix a problem. Reaching out for help when you have a problem you don't know how to fix it is a smart decision. Get advice from a trusted advisor and choose your path to financial freedom. Your journey to a debt free life can start today!


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