Written By: Willie Davis
My wife and I grew tired about the repetitive cycle of debt. We decided that we wanted to be debt free. Together we were able to successfully clear credit card debt, student loans, and overdue balances. If my wife and I can do it, so can you. Below is a description of the process we went through to develop a firm financial foundation.
Step One: Identify a goal(s) Take the time to sit down and think about what direction in life you would like to take. Every year my wife and I sit down and talk about what goals we would like to work on for the coming year. I normally sit down to do this in the month of November. I am a Christian, so I consult the Lord about the goals of my family. After my wife and I pray and write down goals, we then start developing an action plan for how these goals are going to be achieved over the next 12 months.
Step Two: Develop a Plan of Action Make an achievable action plan that you can consistently fulfill. It is important to develop obtainable goals so that you feel a level of success in your plan. Also identify accountability partners. My wife and I hold each other accountable. We were both determined to get out of debt at any cost. If you don’t have a spouse, find another person of like mind who is actively working on the same goal. However, what is even better is finding someone who is where you want to be in life financially and having them serve as an accountability partner. This is an essential step in your planning (accountability). For example, where I work, my employer has quarterly reviews where they check in on the progress of goals set for the company and make adjustments so that they can be successful. The same should apply. Schedule regular check-ins on the progress of your goals and have your accountability partner help you with support and encouragement. Remember, your life is a business and without a plan, you plan to fail.
Step Three: Work Your Plan Keep the plan (vision) before you. One of the ways I keep myself inspired is to have my plan of action posted in different areas of my home. At least twice a day I am looking at my plan and goal as a reminder of where I am going. It helps me with everyday decisions. Before I make a significant purchase I ask myself, ‘Do I really need this or is this something I can wait for later’. In other words, if there is something you want, plan for it instead of getting it at any cost. The choice you make today will determine where you will be tomorrow with your financial goals.
Step Four: Be Patience Take one day at a time. I had to remember that I was not going to get out of debt overnight. Debt developed over a period of time, and the same applies with getting out of it. Know that it is going to be a process. I learned to celebrate the little successes of the lifestyle change I was making for me and my family. I would encourage you to do the same.
This article was reprinted with permission.