You are reading Week 51 of 52 Weeks to Eliminate Debt & Curb Spending. Please read the overview here to learn more about the series & get your FREE financial planner. If you just joined us, please start with week 1.
If you have seen success this year in your quest to pay off debt, Don’t Fall Victim To The Debt Trap Again! It is so important to keep your focus, and not lose track of your goals. Remember back at the first of the year when we encouraged you to make real goals? Now is the time to evaluate those a bit, but also remember that your goals weren’t just about the short term, but about long term debt relief.
Stop using credit for any reason. If you feel like you are going to be tempted to use your credit cards for wants instead of needs that can be paid off, it may be wise to pull the old trick of cutting those cards up. You can easily order a new card later down the road when you feel like you are stronger in your financial situation.
Don’t stop saving just because a debt is paid off. This is important for our first debt, as well as debts to come. Just because you paid off one balance doesn’t make that monthly payment amount free money again. Instead, focus that money toward you next debt in line. If you have successfully paid off all of your debt (YAY!), then focus those payments toward your savings and retirement plans.
Don’t change your spending habits when debt is gone. This is one of the biggest hurdles. Often times when a debt is clear, people get excited and start going back to their old style of spending. While it is perfectly acceptable to become more relaxed and not so stressed about every dime spent, it is important to maintain some discipline. Make sure to continue putting money in savings, being frugal in your spending habits overall, and focus on keeping any credit cards used paid off in FULL on a monthly basis.
Once you have paid off your debt you can relax and enjoy life a bit more, but don’t fall victim to the debt trap again. Remember, credit is not free money. It is money that belongs to someone else who is simply willing to loan it to you for a short time and make money off you in the process.
Week 51 Challenge:
Have you noticed yourself slipping back into old habits? Stop and review your goals again. Determine if you’ve gotten off track with your debt repayment or savings plan. Make adjustments as necessary.
Disclosure: I am not a financial adviser nor do I have formal financial training. All articles are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice or consultation. Please consult your account and/or financial adviser before making changes to your finances. All situations are different, so please consult a professional to determine your individual needs.