Pay Off Debt – Part 04

In this series of posts, I am sharing the process that Jenn and I followed to become debt free in 14 months.  You too can become debt-free!  Read on!

Here are the steps that have been shared so far:

Step 1 – Understand WHY you want to become debt-free!  If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every single time!  You are much more likely to become debt-free when you KNOW the reasons you are making the sacrifices!

Step 2 – List your debts  You can't slay the dragon until you have faced the dragon and understand how many heads it has!

Step 3 – Calculate your Debt Freedom Date  This number lets you know when you will actually achieve debt freedom!  Most people can become debt-free (except for the house) in 18 to 36 months!

Step 4 – Establish Accountability

The strongest amongst us can still fall to temptation!  You could be making fantastic progress toward debt-freedom and then a new truck pulling a new boat passes you on the road.  If you are not careful, you will also be pulling a new truck and boat down the road!

There are two key ways to ensure you are held accountable to your goal of debt-freedom!

A.  If married, work together with your spouse.  If unmarried, have someone you trust (someone who has won with their money) hold you accountable!

There is incredible power when you work together with your spouse toward debt-freedom!  It is a common goal that will unify your marriage and cements your commitment to managing your resources together.

I have also found that when I have a bad case of the "I Wants" and "I Gotta-Have", Jenn does not.  She shuts me down!  Then, when Jenn gets a bad case of "I Really Want This", I do not.  I shut her down!  Why?  Because we are not doing debt!  We are THROUGH with it!!! 

B.  Plan your spending every single month!

Planned money goes farther than unplanned money!  Every single month, Jenn and I sit down TOGETHER and spend every single dollar on paper before we are paid.  Don't miss that – that was good!  Every.  Dollar.  On.  Paper.  BEFORE.  We.  Are. Paid.

From the day that Jenn and I started budgeting, we have not incurred any new debt.  In fact, we became debt-free (minus the house) in just 14 months!

I can tell you this.  I HATED the idea of budgeting and now all I do is yell from the mountaintops about how important it is and how EZ it is to budget!  There are FREE budget forms that are available HERE.  Use one of them to start your journey to debt freedom!

Your budget will hold you accountable.  I wouldn't be surprised if it helped you free up $200 – $500 per month to attack your debt even harder (it did for me!).

Question of the Day:  Folks who have already become debt-free.  How did accountability help you stick to your Debt Freedom Plan?

Read Joe's recent blog posts 

Do you live near Anderson, SC?  Sign up for the Financial Freedom Class at NewSpring Church – class begins on Wednesday, September 19 and costs only $20 per household – childcare provided!  You can sign up and pay on-line HERE.

Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

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