If you’ve got credit card bills piling up that need paying—you’re definitely not alone. According to the Federal Reserve, 56% of Americans carry credit card debt—to the tune of almost $16,000 per household. Getting out of debt can be an overwhelming, long and exhausting process. It’s like changing any bad habit: it’s uncomfortable, but you know it’s good for you. And while there’s no easy way to tighten your budget while you climb out of debt, the end result is totally worth it.
You’ve got to think of the light of the end of the tunnel, says Jessica Patel, personal finance analyst at Bankrate.com. Not carrying debt on your shoulders is an incomparable feeling.
Here are six ways to stay positive as you pay off long-standing debt—and stay out of hock for good.