Monday, October 29, 2007

Look into your crystal ball!

I probably shouldn't even acknowledge it, but I am sorry I haven't been posting... at all! I am sure I have lost a ton of readers. Hopefully my female readers can sympathize somewhat. Starting a new job AND finding out you are having a baby is a BIG change. Anyhow. I am not promising anything but this is an article that has been simmering for a long time so here goes!

There are not many times that you can actually see into the future. However, sometimes with finances you can. So what can you do for motivation, after the month's bills are paid and you are cashless again trying to get your debt paid off? Pull out your old crystal ball. Or just some credit card statements and a calendar. I did this some months back and figured I could be nearly debt free in FIVE years. That sounds crappy but considering I haven't really been paying enough attention to my finances for the past ten years, it really isn't so bad.

I listed all of my debts, how much I owed, what I was paying monthly and for those debts that would end after a certain amount of time I wrote down that date. At first I tried to figure out the plan with a debt snowball, but I actually found that in paying off some of my smaller debts, my larger debts (ex. car) would be paid off around the same time anyway. That may not be the case now, because I won't be able to put as much money toward my debt with the added expense of daycare, but it gave me a light at the end of the tunnel.

Also, when I first did my snowball end date I had not figured my husband's debt into the equation. With his debt paid off and just some of mine we may actually be able to afford a new house!!! That would be awesome.

The point here though is that sometimes you need a little pick me up. If you have a lot of debt look at your smallest debt first. Paying as much as you can, find out how long it will be until it is paid off. Once you pay it off maybe you could even treat yourself to a special purchase with ONE month's worth of that money. After that, though, put it toward you next debt.

I think it is important to look forward to and celebrate these little accomplishments. Personally, I fall into a slump after months of paying on a bill only to see the amount go down slightly. By looking ahead you have something to look forward to. (Even if it is five years, or more, down the line!)

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