What’s holding you back from being debt-free? Is it …
- your spouse;
- you don’t make enough money;
- you don’t have time;
- you have too much debt;
- or something else.
Did you choose one? Write it down because we are going to address it. Ready? No matter, which of the five you choose it is not the real reason you are not debt-free. You read that right. None of those are the real reason. Why? Because those are just your excuse. The one and only reason you are not debt-free is you. Yes, you are the one holding yourself back. You have not become proactive in getting yourself out-of-debt. Now, before you get all huffy and stop reading, do me a favor and think about it. Do you see what I mean? I understand that sometimes the spouse is reluctant to get involved. If that’s the case, please read this post on dealing with reluctance.
You might feel like I beat you up because I basically laid the blame squarely on your shoulders. Don’t be angry or upset. Let’s get you excited about achieving financial freedom and get you started!
Step One: Set the following three goals along with a date:
- Pay off all consumer debt, including student loans
- Save for retirement
If you do not put a date on achieving a goal, then it is not a goal. It is a pipe dream.
Step Two: Put these three goals in three separate columns.
Pay off consumer debt, including student loans.
When: Within five years or less because you want to avoid debt fatigue.
Save for retirement.
When: Within six years or less
|1. Give 10% off your gross income to your church.||1. Pull all of the debt statements for the current month. If you have more from prior months, shred them. You do not need those.||1. If your employer provides a match, invest up to the match. I know that many counsel you to not do this until you pay off your debt. However, I personally feel that you are leaving money on the table if you do not take advantage of the match.|
|2. Give generously after you are debt-free.||2. Track your expenses. You can use an App on your Android or iPhone. Some of the Apps are Spending Tracker, Mint, Money Manger Expense & Budget, or EveryDollar. Choose one that works for you. Then, use it!||2. After you are debt-free, increase your investing. Save 15% or more or your income in good no load mutual funds. Check the fund’s track record over the past five years to see how much the they have earned yearly.|
|3.Do a Money Blueprint/budget/spending plan monthly. Stay on it!||3. Save for your children’s college education.|
|4. Use the Debt Avalanche or the Debt Snowball to start paying off debt.|
|5. Pay off your mortgage debt.|
If you don’t start now, you have no one to blame but yourself.