Do you want to get rid of your debt as quickly as possible? Of course you do, nobody wants to hang on to debt forever. Then I’m going to share with you a secret.
The order in which you pay your debt matters!
Common sense would tell us to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Because everyone thinks that paying off debt is a math problem. Lies and more lies I tell you. What I am saying is paying the highest interest debt first is a major mistake for about 98% of us. Yes I know, you are going to save the most money by paying off the highest interest debt first.
But what if the high interest rate isn’t the problem? What if the math isn’t the problem?
When I was paying off debt and OMG did I have a lot of it. I went through all of the struggles of which debt to pay off first. Should I pay off the highest interest rate, lowest balance, and even company I disliked the most. Seriously I did this.
Want to know which one worked the best? It ended up being the one that made me feel the best. Not the highest interest rate, but really the one that made me smile and want to keep going. The method that I knew if I kept repeating was going to work. I didn’t pay off my debt with a fancy calculator or superior excel spreadsheet. Nope.
Instead it was the simple approach.
When you got an offer for a credit card with a 19% APR, did you think to yourself….
I cannot wait to pay 19% interest on my debt in the future!!
Of course not…and yet Americans owe $807 billion across almost 506 million card accounts and the average credit card debt of U.S. families is $6,270.[tweetshare tweet=”Math is not the enemy. Debt is the enemy.” username=”2e9827ba1e6aa8d752241c712348acea”]
So, how do you correct your behavior with money?
Our behavior with anything usually follows a feeling. Sometimes it’s happiness, guilt, sadness, being overwhelmed, but a feeling will follow.
We feel something and then what follows is how we react or behave with that feeling.
For example it usually feels great to to buy more “stuff”, so our behavior continues to allow us to continue to buy that stuff over and over again. Before we know it we are in credit card debt up to our eye balls and our entire closet is made up of yoga pants or new shoes. Then we start wondering what happened?!
When you carry debt for a long time, it never really feels like you’re truly winning with money. Especially when that debt has been around for so long that it feels like part of your family. You know family like the weird Uncle that lives in his recliner collecting disability checks but also practices Kung Fu.
But there is a solution.
Ignore the interest rates, and pay off the smallest debt first.
The smallest debt will take the least amount of time to get rid of and the fastest way to get that first win.
And once you get that first win. Celebrate like it’s 1999!
Then move onto the next smallest debt and attack this debt with everything you have!
And before you know it, you’ve knocked out 1 or 2 debts and it feels amazing!
With that new feeling comes a new behavior with money. This is important keep reading. Those good feelings with money are incredibly important to win against debt. These wins will stick in our mind and help us to stick with the plan and trust the process when it comes time to keep going and pay off some of those larger debts!
Because sooner or later you are going to come to that big ugly student loan, car payment, credit card, or HELOC and this time you will be ready.
The good feelings and the new money behaviors will lead you to be ready. It’s not a math problem, paying off debt is a change your behavior problem. Behavior is the problem and your behavior is followed by the feeling of buying more and more and more and more “stuff”….at 19% APR.
Let’s face it. It’s us against the evil empire. How do you defeat them? One step at a time.
✅ Step 1: Line up all debts from smallest to largest.
✅ Step 2: Make minimum monthly payments on all debts.
✅ Step 3: Attack the smallest debt with everything you got!
✅ Step 4: Snowball the minimum payment into the second smallest debt and attack, attack, attack.
✅ Step 5: Keep rolling each snowball into a bigger and bigger snowball until all debt is gone!
It’s time for you to free yourself from debt one step at a time.
Start with the smallest debt regardless of the interest rate and lower your debt one small debt at a time. Cheers to your future success!
Motivation and credit to write this post was from MoneyPeach.com