Plan Yourself Out of Debt: Why the Key to Escaping Debt is in Managing Your Calendar
Debt is a serious problem that affects many people. It can be a crushing psychological weight that drains your energy, and it can potentially lead to health problems and depression if it isn’t addressed. When you are struggling with debt, it can be hard to know where to start. However, it might surprise you that it is relatively easy to tackle debt with an everyday household item! Yes, the lowly wall calendar is the key to planning yourself out of debt. Here’s how you can turn your calendar into a powerful debt fighting tool.
First, Get a Calendar
It doesn’t have to be a paper wall calendar – any kind of calendar that works for you is better than nothing. It can be a desk calendar or an app on your phone. The advantage of a wall calendar, though, is that you can see it at all times and see upcoming important dates at a glance. Organize yourself even better by keeping a few good pens nearby, so you can add items and phone numbers to your calendar as you gather information.
Why is a Calendar Useful for Paying Down Debt?
The magic isn’t in the paper acidity or the pictures of kittens in a basket. What’s empowering about working with a calendar is that you are taking charge of your own debt relief, and breaking up a complex problem into manageable chunks. If inertia has been a problem for you in the past, you may find that the mere act of buying and hanging a calendar lifts a weight from your shoulders. That’s because you are breaking a cycle, and that gives you energy and momentum to tackle the next step.
Having a constant visual reminder can be an incredible help to you. Every time you see it you’ll be reminded of your current status and the progress you’re making.
Carve Up the Year
Set measurable milestones for yourself. Make sure you have an end goal, such as to get out of debt in twelve months, and carve up the year. Set small goals to achieve every week or two. The smaller and more numerous the tasks are, the more often you can check them off, and the better you’ll feel about the process. For example: instead of writing “Sort out debt repayment plan” on the month of February, divide that particular job into four stages, and write them on each week of February.
Bump up Your Earnings
You’ll get real traction on your debt if you can earn extra income during your repayment period. Committing to a single year can help you cope mentally with the extra workload – you know it’s temporary, and it’s achieving something concrete and meaningful. Use your calendar as a hub for ideas and contact info, and jot down details relating to each job lead you get.
Reward Yourself Along the Way
Getting out of debt is a great goal to have, but you won’t be able to do it if you get bogged down or set unrealistic goals. Figure out how much money you can really devote to debt repayment . Experts say it should be only be about fifteen percent of your income. Higher than that, and deprivation may drive you to spend your way back into debt. Have a clear budget that makes sense and feels doable. As you achieve each milestone on your calendar, reward yourself – even if it’s just lunch at your favorite cafe or a new shirt. Make sure these items are accounted for in your budget, so they are guilt-free purchases. This will keep you happier along the way, and make it more likely that you will stick to your plan.
Feeling snowed under by debt? Don’t lose hope! With good planning, there is always a way out. Grab that calendar, sit down and challenge yourself to make a plan. Get creative. With achievable goals, you can plan your way out of debt with nothing more than a timeline and determination. The reward is a debt-free existence – and that is sweet indeed!
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