The best way to get anything accomplished is to focus on that one task; and as much as possible let everything else go.
How does that apply to getting out of debt? Simple, start focusing on it. You'll find that the more that you think about getting out of debt, the more you'll find ways to cut your budget, and create more income. But there is an art to accomplishing a task that could take as long as two years if not more. The art of it is learning to be patiently impatient.
The art requires that you be patient. It's going to take a while to get out of debt, so you have to be in it for the long haul. Yes it might take you "x" amount of time, but you and your spouse must commit to doing what it takes to get out of debt regardless of how long it takes.
And then you must be impatient. When our family first started working on getting out of debt (March of '09) we thought it would take us 2 1/2 to 3 years. As we continued working on it, we got impatient. There is no way I am living like this for another two to three years! What else can we cut out of our budget to get it done sooner.
But then it comes back to being patient. I will use my family as an example. When we first started out I honestly had our grocery budget at $65 a month. Granted we had food storage as well, so I wasn't starving our family, I just wasn't exactly feeding them either. Seven months later, we moved it up to $100, and then $150, and now it's at $240 a month.
Currently we have $500 left to pay off and I am growing more and more impatient with paying off our debt. What can we cut from our budget? How can we get this done sooner? Well once again, I cut our grocery budget. I thought if we could live off $65 a month for 7 months, why can't we live off of $27 for two weeks. Let me tell you that was the wrong answer for our family.
So while we're sitting here with less than $500 to pay off, I have to, once again, learn to be patient. With Summer semester coming and no 2nd job insight, I have to realize that it might actually take our family two to three months to pay off the last of our debt.
Before you can get out of debt, you have to plan for the future, and even the present. Groceries, car maintenance and repair, tuition etc. has to come first in order to keep you from going back into debt, or living off of food storage- or even just to keep your significant other from getting mad at you. Trust me, it's a lot easier to stick to a debt free plan if most of your upcoming expenses are already planned for. Be impatient with getting out of debt, patient with the process.
Really what I'm trying to say is just be smart. It's good to get out of debt, but some things do need to come first.