A guest post by Shilpan of Street Smart Finance
Have you had sleepless nights over mounting credit card debt? If so — you are not alone. You can do it!
Here’s the scoop — you can become debt free simply by changing your habits to lift you out of your financial hole.
Why is that simple money lessons are hard to adopt for millions of people? After all, our world of Web is full of blogs teaching how to — live within your means, budget and save more.
The secret lies in the fact that you have to become a better person first — one who understands that happiness comes from within — one who understands that by changing thoughts and habits, anything is possible including overcoming the worst of the financial difficulties. It’s that simple.
The first step towards achieving financial peace is to take personal responsibility for your actions by developing habits for healthy personal finances. What if you are in $50,000 credit card debt today? You can hardly pay your bills, and your life is going downhill. You can pull yourself out of debt simply with these four simple steps. It all starts with changing your thoughts. And your thoughts will change your attitude towards money.
1. Visualize & feel who you want to become
The very first step is to visualize vividly who you want to become financially. Visualization is to your subconscious mind what nutrition is to your body. Okay, so your goal is to pay off $50,000 in credit card debt. Imagine how happy you will be when you can scream in Dave Ramsey’s style, “I am debt free.” Imagine how happy you will be when you can do those things that you love to do but fear because spending more will lead you towards financial ruin. Imagine how great you’ll feel when that credit card bill arrives without any outstanding amount.
Write these three or four most exciting feelings on a paper that you can read in the morning, at a lunch break and before going to bed.
2. Have a written plan
You have conditioned your subconscious with action propelling statements; now, it’s time to take action. But, you are not ready yet. It’s time to write down how you will pay off $50,000 in credit card bills. The trick is to visualize a problem in smaller scale. You don’t get intimidated by a foot of snow in your front yard as you know that you can remove that a square foot a time; so is your task of paying off $50,000 in credit card debt.
- Target smaller, achievable goals
You have to set smaller, achievable goals that you are confident about. Without goals, you are living re-actively, letting your worries push you around. Set a goal to pay credit card with the smallest outstanding balance of $3,000 first. Now, you have written down your goal to pay off credit card with smallest balance first while you keep paying minimum for the rest of the cards. You are one step closer to having a plan that your subconscious can affirm and act upon.
- Set up a budget
A simple budget is a blue print for your home of financial peace. You have already committed to paying off $3,000 in six months. So, you need additional $500 monthly to achieve this goal. If you can’t earn more, look at your monthly recurring bills — your cable bill, your club dues. You’ll find money to cut your expenses by $500. If not, you will look for additional sources of income.
3. What will you sacrifice?
You have to sacrifice to move forward. This is true not only for your personal finances, but also for any facet of your life. By making conscious choices you are developing habits that are conducive to your financial success; and avoiding those that are against your goal to pay off $50,000 in credit card debt. It’s time for you to first track your expenses and choose to bury any non-essential expenses forever. You can track your expenses with simple tools like Mint or develop your own simple plan to track your expenses. Once you start tracking your expenses —it will become easier for you to cut down on unnecessary expenses to save money. Or you may find that your passion to teach Math can bring money to pay towards your debt.
Commit yourself: set smaller, achievable short-term goals; have an action plan and, finally, take action. You’ve done an incredible job of training your subconscious mind. It’s time to make your subconscious mind work. And work really hard.
- Start a blog
Some of the most successful bloggers launched their blogs when their financial journey was anything but perfect — Zenhabits, GetRichSlowly and TheSimpleDollar to name a few. They have not only achieved financial freedom by sharing their own story, but also mastered the art of personal finance by committing to learn and to share their ideas with countless others on the Web. It’s your turn now.
- Tell your friends and family members
If you don’t have desire to start a blog, start sharing your financial goals with your friends and family members. They will help you stay the course until you pay off your debt.
Do you realize that, all along, you have become a better person by developing habits that are needed for healthy personal finance? You will be amazed how your financial picture will change by following these four simple steps.
Shilpan is an entrepreneur, business owner and blogger. He is passionate about personal development and common sense personal finance. He shares his ideas on Street Smart Finance. You can follow Shilpan on Twitter at @shilpan