First, let’s just cut to the chase…Debt is neither of those things. Debt is a neutral circumstance. it is a number and the only thing that gives its meaning is what WE think about it. Stay with me here because this could be life changing for you.
Think about it this way….when you get on a scale you get a number of how much you weigh. What WE make that number mean is whether or not we have a good day or a bad day, right?
If the number isn’t what we want it to be, we can start spiraling down into beating ourselves up and going into the “shoulds”. If we only could be weight X, life would be a piece of cake, no pun intended.
Debt is the same, once you take the emotional piece out of it, you can really start to address it head on. Getting out of debt is easy, changing the behavior that got you into debt in the first place is the work. More on that later but first let’s look at some step by step things you can do NOW to get started on your way to being debt free.
- First step is to write it all down and add up the number. That is your TDN-Total Debt Number. Remember just like the scale…IT IS JUST A NUMBER! Don’t give any meaning to it, it is just a place to start.
- You have two options or methods that work well in seeing that debt go down. The “snowball” method and the “avalanche” method. Let’s start with the snowball method:
- After getting your TDN (Total Debt Number). Now go back and list it out in the order of smallest to largest regardless of the interest rate.
- You will pay the minimum amount due on the other’s and pay extra on the smallest one first. Then once you pay that off you will add the extra money you would have paid on the first debt to the next debt and so on and so on.
- In the debt avalanche method, you pay your debts from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate, regardless of balance.
- Mathematically this makes the most sense. You will pay less in interest if you tackle your debts in this order. Saving money on interest means you will pay your debts off more quickly. Isn’t the whole point of getting out of debt to do it as quickly as possible?
- You get the most bang for your buck when you tackle the highest interest rate first. Why pay a debt that isn’t charging any interest when you have a credit card that is charging 18%?
- Which method to choose? Think of it like a workout, the one that will motivate you to stay consistent is the best one for YOU. It is the most amazing feeling of accomplishment just taking that first step.
If you can’t seem to get out of debt regardless of what you have tried?
More on the “WHY” we stay stuck in debt in upcoming posts! I will share what I have done to help clients out of six-figure debt and stay out!-Stay tuned