I have participated in the Personal Finance blogging community for awhile now and I have begun to notice something that seems so obvious but hasn’t really been put into words in the way the I’m about to put it: the bigger your debt repayments, the higher the likelihood that you will succeed in your debt repayment goals. Or, if you’re not paying $500, $700, $1,000 each month in debt repayment-you’re going to lose momentum FAST.
How Do I Give This Idea Credibility?
Check Out the Following Bloggers:
Catherine from Plunged in Debt: that month she paid around $1500 and that was LOWER than usual
Melanie from Dear Debt: She put $1300 towards her debt that month
Michelle from Making Sense of Cents: She.Works.HARD! And this work ethic helped her crush her student loans.
Jordann from My Alternative Life: Please note what she says in October about putting an additional $1000 towards the debt.
Toni from the Debt Free Divas paid off over $100,000 and larger payments were key in achieving that goal!! *added this after post went live 🙂
Your Debt Repayment Minimum
The bigger the debt repayment that you’re making the more focused you are about the following debt repayment activities:
- Finding side hustles-the more you focus on them, the more you’ll find. They begin to multiply like rabbits.
- Focus-you’re too busy to lose focus on your goal. Haven’t you noticed that the busier you are the more focused you tend to get?
- You get addicted–To the process! As you gain momentum and success you will get addicted to seeing the debt numbers drop-quickly.
You get the picture. It’s my opinion that smaller payments don’t move the needle fast enough-even if they are double the minimum for the bill that you’re paying on. The larger the payments the easier it is to gain and sustain momentum in your repayment process.
Last year I paid off 2 credit cards. I have 2 more cards to go and my student loans. My current goal is to take care of the credit cards this year and then focus on the student loans. I have to admit though that I had a substantial decrease in momentum this year.
Part of that was a shift in focusing on some issues that I want to deal with in terms of how I’m living my life. I also spent a lot of money fixing things in my home. I have to admit that it has been very surprising how much energy it has taken to focus on those things and while I’m very proud of people who can focus on everything at once, I just didn’t have the energy to do that earlier this year.
Some of you may be wondering how on earth you will find the extra money to hit such a large repayment goal?
You would be surprised. Here are some ideas
- Cut your monthly expenses-You may have cut your expenses already. Look at more line items in your budget and cut them further. I saved over $1100 this year by changing my cell phone service. I also saved almost $2000 this year by taking items out of a storage unit. Three thousand dollars is a huge savings in one year.
- Track your discretionary monthly expenses–I’ve tracked my monthly expenses for July and found a lot of wasted money. French Farmer’s Market anyone??
- Is Everyone on Board–If you live in a multi-person home make sure that you are all on the same page and in agreement about your goals. Make sure to include family/whomever in all discussions concerning your finances and short-term/long-term goals.
- Micro-resolutions-I’m addicted to these!! I will be writing a post about them next week. Micro-resolutions are basically small, very clear changes that create lasting big successes. For example: I wanted to get to work much earlier than my usual time. I wasn’t having a lot of success with that goal. I was trying to: wake up early, exercise, and do other other things. I was basically overwhelmed and started going back to sleep. Snooze is fabulous. Now, I my goal was simple: wake up and turn on light. That’s it. No exercising, nothing else. Just get up and out of bed so that I could leave early. Since I made this switch, I’ve been early to work.
- Side Hustle–Develop the ability to find and opportunities that will earn you extra money. I focus on short turn around projects that pay high hourly rates. The higher the hourly earning and shorter-time frame=more time to make more money.
- Rent out a room in your home-Thoroughly vet a potential roommate. Remember, it’s a business transaction that happens in your home. If you get a bad vibe-trust it. Get deposits, and a very clear lease agreement
- Work Your Food Budget–Huge. If you don’t have your food budget under control you are bleeding money….and probably gaining weight (like I did)
The point is, rock your repayment. Dig deep and rethink your process. Maybe you can’t pay $1000 extra the first month you decide to increase your payments. But, $500 is pretty good.
Go Big Or Go Home. Good luck! I’m in your corner 🙂