We all know that debt (and the costs associated with it) is a national problem. In fact, it may be the biggest problem standing between you and a comfortable financial future. Putting a stop to accumulating debt, and dealing with it once and for all, is the answer.
Over the summer, I will be offering ideas to help you start on the path to paying off your debt and keeping it gone.
In my opinion, there are typically 6 steps to paying down your debt. Here is step 1.
Step 1 Getting Started
I want you to take time to reflect, and to determine why you have debt. I believe that once you know what got you into debt, you can make the changes necessary to improve your finances.
Maybe you simply spent too much. Judging by advertising and television, every waitress should be able to afford a home furnished by a mix of Crate & Barrel and Anthropologie. You wouldn’t be the first to want to live the American Dream… before you made it.
But, not all debt comes from overspending. Sometimes it comes from medical bills that accumulate due to illness or uncovered procedures, it could be a death in the family, divorce, a job loss or reduced hours. There are circumstances that can blindside you and throw the best financial plans off track.
The bottom line is that you are spending more today than you earn. You have been living in a “buy now and let my future self pay the debt” universe. But this isn’t a science fiction movie. That future self is you and you’ll be just as unhappy with debt tomorrow as you are today!
I don’t want you to think I am judging you. We all have reasons (or excuses) for the actions we take. If you want to get out debt once and for all, you have to make changes to your thought process and habits in order to see lasting changes.
Right now, I want you reflect on why you’re in debt. Go ahead and tell the whole story. Start from the beginning.
1. When did you first get behind on your bills?
2. What did the money go towards?
3. Do you have habits that make it easier to accumulate debt (and difficult to pay it off)? These might be shopping, eating, decorating, entertaining, recreation or work habits.
4. What needs to happen for you to pay off your debt? (We’ll revisit this question later – this is your first, knee-jerk response.)
5. Why do you still have debt today? List all the reasons. This is just for yourself to read, so feel free to be honest.
For more information and support, join my free private Facebook group “Say Bon Voyage to Your Debt”. We officially start on July 3. To get individual support and worksheets, sign up here: www.facebook.com/groups/PayOffYourDebt/. To receive a bonus budget tracker, sign up through my newsletter
In the next issue we’ll begin the hard work, so get ready.