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Hey girl, hey!
I've said it before...and I'll say it again... most of us know that it’s fairly easy to get a credit card or a loan these days. Often times it’s so easy, that several of us have racked up significant amounts of debt without even realizing it! But before we go any further, let me explain exactly what debt is...
The definition of debt, according to Investopedia, is an amount of money borrowed by one party from another. Debt is accumulated when an individual makes a large purchase (or several small purchases) that they could not afford under normal circumstances. So basically, if you didn’t pay cash for an item (meaning the money came straight out of your checking account), then girlfriend… you’re in debt.
To be more clear... let's put this in simpler terms:
Car Note = Debt
Credit Cards = Debt
Student Loans = Debt
Unpaid Medical Bills = Debt
Payday Loans = Major Debt
Get the picture?
“So how do I dig myself out of this hole, Elle?”… Great question girlfriend!
Let’s say you have a few outstanding debt items like in the example below:
Using your spreadsheet that you’ve already created by now, determine how much extra you can afford to put towards your smallest debt (extra meaning any amount over the minimum payment) without jeopardizing the payments of your regular recurring bills.
RELATED: Cash Queen: How Using Cash Only Can Be Beneficial To Your Pocketbook.
The example below shows a minimum payment for each debt item and also shows an amount that could be paid toward those items (each budget will be different). Also, take note that even though the smallest debt (credit card #3) has a minimum payment of $25, this hypothetical girlfriend is paying almost double that amount per month because the goal here is to essentially get it paid off quickly and have it gone... forever. Make sense?
Now once you pay off your smallest debt, take that money and add it to the amount you were paying towards your next smallest debt. The chart below shows how the $40 that was once going towards Credit Card #3 is now added to the amount paid for Credit Card #1 (for a total of $90) to pay that thang off faster! Take a look below to see what I’m talking about:
Girlfriends, one thing I want you all to notice is how much money is going toward debt... a whopping total of $775 per month. Do you know what you could do with an extra $775 (more or less depending on your current situation) a month if it wasn't being used to pay off debt? That's why it's so important to dig and keep yourself out of the debt hole... for good.
I like to do a little dance every time one of my client's pays something off (hey, it’s a celebration… do your victory dance, girl!)
And although this strategy may sound fairly easy, please understand that it takes time to get out of debt so be patient with yourself and your budget. But on the flip side, it takes a hot second to get right back into that hole and all your time, effort, and hard work goes down the drain (ain't nobody got time for that!). So just be mindful of your future purchases as you are on your journey toward becoming debt free.
I'd love to hear how this method works out for you!
Until Next Time,