Blogging Our Way Out of Debt
Ugh. Seriously. We are stupid drowning in debt. We have been for years. Every once in a while I'll decide to dig my heels in and work really hard to pay it off, but it never fails that something comes up and we either fall behind or dig ourselves right into a deeper hole. This debt has been following us around for years now, and I'm a little over it.
We kinda' threw caution to the wind last year as we worked our tail off to take our family to Disney World. But 2023 has got to be our year to start making a dent in our debt so we can have some financial freedom.
So here we go. I'll be blogging my way out of debt and sharing with you our progress and some of the things we're doing to work our way out of this hole we're in.
Here's the plan...
Step 1: Mindset
Mindset has to be the first thing to change. It's all about mindset. If you believe there's only so much to go around, you'll always be fighting for your share. But if you believe in abundance, you'll open yourself up to limitless possibilities. A positive mindset is essential for growth. It allows you to see opportunities where others see only obstacles. It gives you the courage to take risks and the perseverance to keep going when the going gets tough. So if you want to achieve great things in life, it all starts with having the right mindset.
There's an abundance of research out there on mindset, and it all boils down to the fact that our beliefs dictate our reality. If we believe we're stuck, we'll be stuck. If we believe we're powerless, we'll be powerless. But if we believe in our ability to grow and change, we open ourselves up to limitless possibilities. A growth mindset not only allows us to see the beauty in challenges and setbacks but also enables us to thrive in the face of them.
Step 2: Set SMART Goals
It's not enough for us to simply set a goal. In order for us to be successful, we will have to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. I believe this is the reason why past attempts at paying off debt have not been successful. It's easy to become overwhelmed when we look at the big picture and see just how much debt we have.
Paying off our debt will be much more manageable if I focus on one debt at a time. We will be utilizing the snowball method to pay off our debts, which is useful when setting SMART goals.
Step 3: Cut up the credit cards
We have to stop the bleeding. I love my credit cards. It's almost become a game for me to see how many I can max out each year. We are buried under a mountain of credit card debt and it's time to take some radical action. (Need for justification insert here: While some of our spending has been frivolous, we went through a time when we were so broke that credit cards were the only way to put food on our table.)
Cutting up the credit cards is the best thing we can do for our financial health and well-being. It is going to force us to live within our means and really be intentional about paying down our debt. It is certainly not going to be easy at first, but I'm hopeful it will be worth it in the long run.
(Transparency Moment: We will be keeping some of our major credit cards, but we will not be using them.)
Step 4: BUDGET!
Create a budget and STICK TO IT. I'm actually really good at budgeting. I get a thrill from organizing our finances. Every month I sit down and figure out how much money we have coming in and list out all of our expenses. The struggle comes with the implementation of said budget. There always seems to be something that comes up that requires us to make concessions - a child field trip or a friend's birthday party for example. I tend to start the month out all gung-ho and ready to tackle, but easily feel defeated and give up.
No more, I say!! We're digging these heels in and digging ourselves out of debt. We need to reevaluate our spending and see where we can make cuts - things like subscriptions and eating out.
Step 5: Sell All the Things
We have an entire house full of things we no longer want or need. We've been wanting to go through and declutter again and this is the perfect excuse to get it done. We will be going through all of our clothing, furniture, toys that are no longer played with, and photography gear I no longer use and selling it. Anything that can go will go. Killing two birds with one stone.
Step 5: Add Income
Our schedule is already pretty full, but we have to increase our income somewhere. I will continue picking up extra shifts at work. We're also dabbling with some side hustles. When my schedule slows down I'll add some photography sessions to the calendar which is always helpful!
Step 6: Celebrate
Woot! Woot!! We'll be celebrating when we are free from debt!!!
So there you have it, folks. We are committed to becoming debt free and hope that by sharing our story we can encourage and motivate others to do the same. If you're interested in following along with us on our journey, be sure to subscribe to our blog or follow us on social media. See you soon!
I'd love to hear any tips or tricks you have to help us along our journey. Let me know what ya' got for me!!