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Welcome back to the Debt Free Challenge! Today we’re going to cover the first 2 of the worksheets in the Debt Free Challenge workbook. If you have not already received your email with the link to your copy of the workbook you can sign up for it here. Ready? Let’s get started…

 

Your Starting Point – The Debt Assessment

 

The first step in getting your finances in order is figuring out where you are, and that’s where the Debt Assessment worksheet comes in. Print the worksheet or use it as a guide to make a list of all of your creditors. Be sure to include the account balances and monthly payments for each. Once you’ve done that, you have a bit more homework to do. For at least the next week (longer is better but we’ll start with a week), when you spend money on anything (and I do mean ANYTHING!), write it down. Include where you made the purchase, what you bought, and how much it cost. Cash or credit-it does not matter it all gets listed. Pumped gas? Write it down. Bought a coffee? Write it down. Mani/pedi? You know the drill…Once you have all that data in front of you, it should be pretty easy to determine the expenses you can pare down so that those funds can be applied to your debt. It’s all a matter of priorities…

 

Find your “Why”

 

It may not seem important now but the second step in getting your Debt Free Challenge started is to Find your “Why”. What is your reason for wanting to get out of debt? When I was facing my debt my “why” was my husband’s impending retirement. The prospect of living on a fixed income was pretty unnerving for me and that was the catalyst that started my debt free journey. Another way of looking at is is this-what are your goals? What do you want to do with your money once you no longer have consumer debt to worry about? Do you want to travel? Buy a house? Save for college for your kids? Write it all down. Once you have it all down on paper, put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly. Post it on the wall or, better yet, on your fridge. Make a mental note of what’s on it and where it is. Whenever you’re tempted to buy something you really don’t need, visualize it in your mind. Remember that you are trying to replace your not-so-great spending habits with good spending habits and after awhile it will be second nature to you.

 

Homework

 

For your homework-start the Debt Assessment and fill in the Find Your Why worksheet. Take your time with both, and next time we meet we’ll cover budgeting for the absolute necessities and starting your Rainy Day Fund.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

Note-Any and all items contained in the Older Wiser Money Miser Debt Free Challenge are intended as a resource for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional tax or investing advice.

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