Tips for Sticking to Your Debt Payoff Plan
One of the biggest barriers to paying off debt is the fact that it’s so easy to get distracted from your repayment plan and start spending again. Debt can be scary, especially when you’re constantly thinking about how much you owe and how long it will take to pay off. Sticking to your debt payoff plan takes motivation and willpower, no matter what life throws at you.
Here are some tips for sticking to your debt payoff plan.
Make a Plan
Write a plan for what you need to do over, say, the next six months. For debt repayment, it’s important to set up a budget and try not to overspend on things like eating out or entertainment so that you can use those funds toward paying off your debts.
Having a six-month plan should help keep you on track and motivated. And don’t forget to check in with yourself every month. When you stick to a plan, you might be surprised by how quickly progress can happen!
Take Baby Steps
While it might seem daunting, getting out of debt doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. If you don’t want your debt payoff plan to overwhelm you, start with baby steps. Taking on too much at once can lead to burnout, and worse, an increase in spending as you attempt to compensate for all that extra time and energy spent paying off your debt.
Baby steps reduce stress while still making progress and freeing up more money than if you did nothing at all. It’s a great debt payoff solution as long as you’re consistent. When implementing these strategies, keep an eye on your credit card statements each month so you know when to make adjustments.
Set Realistic Goals
It’s important to set realistic goals for paying off debt, so you don’t get discouraged along the way. But it’s also important not to be too ambitious, like committing yourself to paying off $15,000 in debt in one year. If you have that kind of money, great; go ahead and take a shot at it.
But if you’re like most people and don’t earn much, then setting an unrealistic goal just sets you up for failure when you inevitably come up short. Instead, think small: How much can I realistically pay toward my debts over the next two, four or six months? Then aim to hit your mark and increase your contribution each month after that.
Keep the End in Mind
The biggest reason why many people fail at their debt payoff plan is that they lose sight of what they’re doing. If you’re not careful, you can easily get stuck in a cycle of smaller goals and suddenly stop along your path to debt freedom. Just think about how many times you heard someone say I was just one small purchase away from being out of debt! Keeping your end goal in mind will help you stay focused and committed.
Know When You Need Help
Don’t try to tackle debt by yourself. If you’re having trouble keeping up with your payments, find an expert who can help you identify a plan that works. A professional will know how much debt is too much and when you should consider consolidation or other solutions.
If things don’t improve within 90 days, consider changing tactics; otherwise, you may be swimming in ever-deepening waters. And don’t forget: A little financial planning goes a long way toward reducing stress and improving your overall financial health and well-being.
Personal finance is not difficult as long as you stick to these debt payoff tips. The biggest thing that trips up people who want to get out of debt is their failure to follow a proven plan. If you use these tips for sticking to your debt payoff plan, you’ll be able to keep your eyes on your debt payoff goal and make significant progress toward becoming debt-free. Good luck!