Don’t Ignore Your Debt

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

I see articles DAILY on “How I Paid Off $10k”

“How I Paid Off $100k”

“How I Paid Off $5k”

I celebrate those folks.

Each of these articles typically jumps into the HOW. Today I want to talk to you about the first step to making a move to pay off debt is knowing WHAT you owe.

Often we turn away from things that are painful. We ignore it and hope it will go away. We pay the minimums. We justify, we transfer balances. We squeak by. I want you to do more than eek by.

What I know is that wishing your debt will go away will never make it go away. Ever. Squeaking by just plain old stinks.

Think of it this way:

It is like hoping your relationship; marriage, friendship, parenting, will get better but never reading a book or having a discussion or taking a course on HOW TO HAVE A BETTER RELATIONSHIP.

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” ~ Albert Einstein

In today’s society, brace yourself for the cliche reference, we think things will “instantly” happen like on Instagram or Facebook. It has been well studied and spoken about that those are peoples highlight reels. Not the whole picture.

When you look at your debt in the face and see what the whole picture is, you can begin mapping out a plan.  As Dr. Phil said, “You have to name it to claim it.” Am I dating myself?

Here is what I have for you today:

  1. Look at your debt. All of it. Credit cards, mortgage, car loans, anything you owe to anyone that you have to pay down on a monthly basis.
  2. Write it down. All of it.
  3. Write down the minimum payments, the interest rates, the due dates.
  4. Then think of what life would be like WITHOUT that debt? Who would you be, what decisions would you make, what would you do with that freed up money and time (debt is financially AND emotionally exhausting).
  5. Lastly, decide that you will not add to the debt. You can’t make something better by making it worse.

I have created a handy printable that you can use to capture all the debt information. This is the first step in taking ownership and responsibility.

Here is the thing, it is fairly common to be in debt, but ask yourself, “do you want to be common?”

Once you have done this exercise you can move toward hacking away at your debt.

I wrote THIS post on HOW to pay off debt, but until you acknowledge something, you cannot change it.

Write it down. Accept it. Don’t create any more. Work at paying it off.

Always your biggest fan, cheering you on waving my foam finger!! You’ve got this!!

Much love,

Karen & Bill

Smartmoneycouple.com Debt Worksheet-May 2018

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