So far, no one has ever come forward and admitted something very poignant about saving money and subsequently getting out of a huge amount of debt.
“Boy, was that easy.”
Chances are you’re like the rest of the population, the majority that is, who are carrying around $20,000 of debt (and that’s just credit cards). To go with that, you’re also short on savings as far as who much money you have set aside.
The first thing you want to do is eliminate your debt, but you simply haven’t figured out how to do it. Or, the inevitable happens: you’ve assumed that the debt is so overwhelming that you’ll sit back, make your minimum payments and hope for the best.
But when it comes to “debt,” you can’t hope or wonder if you can change your course.
You have to do it with two key elements: patience and focus.
The real driver behind getting out of debt is developing a plan but also making sure that you set realistic expectations. That’s where the patience plays into it.
The patience part is the innate ability to look at the big picture and realize that this mountain is going to be a hard one to climb, but you have to start picking apart debt with a plan in mind. You can’t rebuild your savings account and pay down debt at the same time, so the smart money is focusing on the latter.
And by doing that, you’ll need to focus on your budget and just how much of it is relevant and if it is a true representation of how you spend money. A budget is only as good as the person who is monitoring it and making sure it is realistic.
Just because you know how much your car payment is or the amount of money you spend each month on rent doesn’t qualify as a budget. You have to be certain you’re not overlooking anything, keeping finite records and assuming that your estimates on certain line items (like gas for your car) are accurate if not a little more just to be on the safe side.
If you’re not ready to put in the work (budgeting) and to start to access wants versus needs as a black and white conversation with no shades of gray, you’ll continue to flounder in a financial hole with enough debt to last a lifetime.
Instead, take an approach that is level headed, and leans on what you know: live within your means, pay down debt and then work on saving money in that order.
Only then will you think about debt and saving as being at the very least a little “easier” done than said.
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