Happy Wednesday, friends! We’ve had great weather here this week, sunny and 70ish. The fall colors are just starting to come in, and we’ve finished up the last of our canning efforts, I think, so WOOHOO for that! Today I’m going to kind of bounce off of a two-part series I did over at Frugal Rules. The first part, Why So Many People Fail to Become Debt Free, was posted last week, and part 2 debuts tomorrow. It’s important when beginning a journey as daunting as revamping your financial life that you are aware of potential roadblocks and failures before you start, which is why I wrote the 2-part series over at Frugal Rules. But there are some other things you need to know before you start your journey to debt free.
There are a number of things you need to be prepared for before you begin your getting-out-of-debt journey. Why? Because if you don’t expect them, they’ll smack you in the face good and hard, and potentially keep you knocked down. If, on the other hand, you expect potential attacks, you’ve got your heart and mind prepared to overcome them. Preparedness and financial freedom do indeed go hand-in-hand.
What to Expect:
– A long journey. Most people who come to the point where they realize they’re in big debt trouble have just that: big debt. This is why it’s crucial to give yourself a more conservative timeline of paying it off, rather than a more aggressive one. You’ll do better emotionally if you get your debt paid off before your set payoff debt rather than after. This is not to say you shouldn’t challenge yourself, but make your challenges and goals reasonable and doable. Success breeds more success, and by making your goals reasonable, you’ve set yourself up for reaching those goals.
– Failures and Disappointments. If you’re going to get serious about paying off debt, you’ve got to accept the fact that failures, disappointments and setbacks will likely come. This is not a bad thing, provided you use it correctly. In our particular debt situation, we’ve got LOTS to pay off. Any wrench in our budget, such as an unexpected house repair or vehicle repair, gets us off track pretty quickly. In order to not fall prey to the temptation to give up, we instead focus on our progress. We remind ourselves that, no matter how small the amount, we are moving forward each and every month, and it’s a step in the right direction regardless. Having a plan for setbacks ahead of time will help ensure that those setbacks don’t keep you down for good.
– An ever-changing budget/debt payoff plan. One of the reasons we’ve been able to stick with our debt payoff plan for nearly 10 months now, in spite of many failed previous attempts, is because we are regularly evaluating our budget and our plan to see what we can do better. Things change: bills come and go, expenses increase and decrease, and a successful debt payoff plan is one in which the navigator regularly assesses the plan and its progress to see where there might be a better way. This “better way” might include cutting more expenses, bring in more income, switching payoff methods, or whatever. The key is to be committed to regular evaluation of the plan and to be open to making changes when necessary.
By utilizing these tips, and avoiding the pitfalls I have listed in my educational posts over at Frugal Rules, you’ll have a MUCH better chance of reaching financial independence. Are you ready for financial freedom?