Does this scenario sound familiar? You have a few credit cards that are maxed out, student loan debt where the principal never seems to move downward.
You try to put away for an emergency and then BAM! Your car breaks down and you need to use the emergency fund to do car repairs.
Or worse yet, there isn’t enough in your emergency fund, so you are forced to put the repairs on yet another credit card with like 30% interest.
If this sounds like you, don’t fret, there is a way out.
Step 1: Have an Emergency Fund
You should start the debt eradication process by putting together an emergency fund. You can start with $1,000 so that if you have a small emergency, you can cover it with the money you have in your fund.
The idea is we don’t want to keep adding to our credit card debt, so we want to create a fund to absorb the need to use them.
But, we need to make sure we only use that money for emergencies.
And no, dinner out or a new outfit does not count as an emergency!
Step 2: Make the Commitment to Pay Off Your Debt
It is time to draw a line in the sand and commit that from this day forward, you will not charge on your credit cards!
Without your commitment, this can’t work. So it is important that you are determined to make the change.
Say it with me, “From now on, I will not use my credit card for purchases. I will pay cash or save to purchase it, but I will NOT use my credit cards from here forward.”
Ok, great! Now we can move on to eradicating that debt!
Step 3: Begin Attacking the Debt
To attack the debt, we are going to use the Debt Snowball Method.
You’ve probably heard Dave Ramsey talk about it in the past. It is a great method used to compound the payments to more rapidly reduce the balances on your cards and pay them off faster. Kind of like a snowball builds when it goes downhill.
Before we get started, list out your debts. List them from lowest balance to highest balance. Pay no mind to the interest rates of these cards. Just list them lowest to highest.
Great, now that you have your list, take note that we are going to attack the lowest balance debt first. Look at your budget and see what you can afford to pay over the minimum payment.
This begins your snowball!
While you are paying extra on the first debt, pay only the minimum payment on all the other debts. This leaves the most money for your initial attack.
Once you have paid off your first debt, do a happy dance! No really, do it. You’ve just succeeded in reducing your debt! You should be very proud of yourself.
I know it feels like a small success, but celebrate it! It’s just the beginning of taking down all your debt.
Next, we attack debt #2. Take the amount you paid on your first debt each month, add to it the minimum payment from the second debt and pay the entire amount onto debt #2.
See the snowball getting bigger?
Continue on until this debt is paid off.
Repeat the process with each consecutive debt until you have all your debts paid off.
Keep the Faith
I know it seems like an impossible task at times. Life happens. We slip back into our old ways.
If that happens, just start again. You will get better at it and you will find it gets easier with the more success you have.
Stay steady and soon you will find yourself with financial freedom!
What would that look like for your family?
Imagine what financial freedom will feel like each month when you can begin to focus your finances on your future instead of your past.
It takes a lot of commitment and determination to be disciplined enough to learn to have a new relationship with money.
Make the commitment! You need to put aside instant gratification and instead plan what each dollar you make can do for you.
See the success. Let me ask you, how rewarding would it be for you to have enough? To not have to feel so much pressure to work so hard? To be able to invest for your retirement or to take that fantastic vacation you’ve always dreamed of.
You can do this. You can achieve financial freedom for yourself. I believe in you!
And if you need a little help, contact me! I can help you create a plan to make this dream come true for you!