June 12, 2015
That headline sounds scary — and it is, especially if you have a huge pile of debt that you’re trying to tackle alone.
Don’t worry, I’m here to help!
Let’s be honest, the road to debt freedom can be long and boring — particularly for those of us who are single. If possible, it’s always best to surround yourself with supportive like-minded friends and family members during your journey. I started my debt free journey in January 2014 and the road has definitely been rocky at times!
In my opinion, the journey to debt freedom is more difficult for singles. There is always the temptation to impulse buy, eat out or treat yourself because you deserve it — or so you think.
I’m guilty of everything I just listed and it’s pretty easy to get away with it if you don’t have your mind made up. Unfortunately, I fell off track last December during the Christmas holiday.
But that slip up didn’t stop me. By that time, I didn’t have an accountability partner (more on what that is below) and I realized I needed discipline and a new game plan ASAP. I now complete bi-weekly zero-based budgets and stick to them. I gave my friends and family a firm ‘I can’t eat out every weekend’ speech because I want to be debt-free.
I cut the eating out to once a month, I stopped the bi-weekly gel manicures and pedicures and I cut the cord on cable TV. This saves me about $150 a month and all of this extra money goes to pay down my debt.
I constantly read personal finance books which help to keep me focused and on track. So yeah, that means I spend a lot of weekends in the library or at bookstores. I also regularly watch The Dave Ramsey debt-free scream videos on YouTube. These videos keep this debt-free fire blazing!
I love hearing what each person sacrifices to reach his or her goal. After each video I would always think ‘Hmmm, if they can do it, I can do it!’ For motivation, I would literally tell myself ‘Just keep pushing Matiya — slow and steady wins the race.’ Next, I keep track of all milestones and payments made during my journey. It doesn’t matter if the payment is $5 or $500 — I want to see it written down! Doing this gives me a sense of accomplishment and keeping track of milestones goes hand-in-hand with having a written budget. Yes, written!
I hear you and yes, at times it does suck to physically write out a plan or budget EVERY SINGLE MONTH but trust me it’s worth it. But, I will admit after my solo pity party, it’s pretty cool to look back over a budget from last year and realize how much I’ve grown, not to mention how much I’ve paid off (woot woot, go me!)
My last tip for this column is to find a reliable accountability partner, if possible. Sometimes you need someone to give you that tough love and keep you on track. Accountability partners are there to coach you, keep you committed and be a shoulder to lean on. My accountability partner and I would meet twice a month to review each other’s budget. It was also a time that we could share experiences, best practices and advice. An accountability partner was a great benefit for me and I bet having one would help you too.
Have a great day and keep pushing toward your goal!
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