Debt has a way of creeping into the other parts of our lives, completely separate from the financial world in which it exists. High volumes of debt affect millions of Americans every year, and this trend is only growing. On average, most Americans carry around $6,000 in revolving credit card debt, not to mention student loans, mortgage obligations, and other lines of credit.

All this adds up to a precarity that extends into other aspects of our lives. Debt creates frustration and worry that can stop many people from pursuing their dreams, going back to school, or even taking enjoyment in the things they do outside of their workplace. With this constant fear of missing a repayment deadline, working can seem like the only thing that’s important in life. But getting out from underneath debt and moving forward isn’t as hard as it might seem.

Pay down your debts the smart way.

Paying off debt doesn’t have to be a complete slog. For those looking to stop collection calls and move ahead of their debts, a consolidation strategy may be the best way forward. There are a number of ways to go about consolidating your various debts, but getting started in this method is the most important part.

You may be eligible for a personal loan for the purposes of debt consolidation. Otherwise, you will want to evaluate your balance transfer offers. Most Americans have four credit cards, and owing money on all of these lines of credit at once can create a sticky problem for your cash flow and overall financial health. Bringing each outstanding debt under the umbrella of one loan or line of credit means that you will only have one repayment per month to handle (and remember) instead of two, three, or four.

Narrowing your repayment obligations often brings down the minimum payment owed each month, meaning you can enjoy a bit of breathing room when it comes to everyday cash, or take advantage of the opportunity to put a larger dent in the total owed. Similarly, many balance transfer offers are sweetened by a zero-interest period that could last for as long as a year or more. Alternatively, a consolidation loan from your bank or other financial institution is often the best way to go when seeking a reduced interest rate. Credit cards carry some of the highest interest of any debt asset, so moving your obligations away from these purchasing instruments is often a great idea.

Invest in your future.

Once you have restructured your outstanding debts, it’s time to focus on your future. This is a two-part project that begins with a solution and ends with a lifestyle change that ensures you will never find yourself in this predicament again. A great way to accomplish this is to return to school or leverage your current interests and skills into a new and rewarding career. There are hundreds of uncommon medical careers, for instance, that are not education intensive and require only a passion for helping people to recover. In the current climate, the medical space is hungry for new entrants into the profession in order to help in the fight against the coronavirus, so you may find a perfect fit in a support role in your local community.

Alternatively, a technical career like those offered to mechanics that have completed their Automotive and Diesel Technology program extends the ability to pick up overtime, work on the side, and even freelance for a rotation of garages in the area. The freedom to take these essential skills anywhere is a blessing that too few miss out on. Mechanics are a commodified skill in the modern era. The vast majority of us simply can’t pop the hood and get to work on a solution to that squeak, power issue, or hum. We rely on the expertise and professionalism of highly-skilled automotive mechanics in order to get our cars back on the road. And this reliance pays huge dividends in the form of a solid paycheck. For those who love working with their hands and fixing things, the automotive repair industry may be the perfect home.

Invest in your happiness.

Finally, it’s important to note that the way you feel affects the productivity that you will achieve on any given day. Many people battling their debts don’t feel particularly productive or positive, and this seeps out into their daily lives. Adding some new clothing, like women’s slimming pants, to your wardrobe is a great way to jumpstart this transformation and make you feel alive and energized. Some new items in your wardrobe are a proven way to increase your overall happiness and mood. Unlike other purchases, our clothing is something that we use on a daily basis, and the feeling of the fabric, the style choices, and the addition of a few new items on a regular basis can inject a new sense of purpose and positivity into anyone’s life.

In order to continue your upward momentum, it’s important to invest in your own happiness as well as your future. This forms the third segment of a winning strategy for building your financial success story, and it cannot be discounted for its power over your mental state.

Returning from the depths of a crushing debt can feel as if it will never end. In truth, the road from major debts is a long one, but it’s worth it to eliminate these obligations and move forward with your life. Defeating debt is something that many of us have to struggle with and ultimately prevail over. But the path to financial security is actually simply one of strategy and perseverance. In order to defeat your debts, you simply can’t give up. You must create a plan for paying back these obligations, maintaining minimal, if any, new purchases on credit, and simply remain unwavering in your commitment. Life often gets in the way and will entice you to ‘cheat’ on your plan. Stay prepared and stick to your strategy in order to emerge debt-free.