One Step at a Time

5 Jan

I have to admit that I get a little discouraged sometimes. When I think about how far I am from financial freedom…it just seems like such a daunting task.

I’m reminded of how I got here in the first place.  I like to spend. It’s almost like an addiction.  And addicts have to take it one day at a time.  It’s important to have a plan and to have that plan written down because it helps to make the plan feel more attainable.  But I can’t spend all my time thinking about the end goal.  I have to think about it one day at a time.  If I spend my money here, here, and here, I can’t pay off this loan as quickly as I’d like.  If I can keep my focus on tomorrow and where I will spend my money instead of next year, I feel like it will be more encouraging to me.

Of course, applying the one day at a time mentality can be a problem for me.  I have a really great budget spreadsheet I developed a couple of years ago.  I really love that spreadsheet, and it helps me keep my expenses on track.  However, one issue that I’ve had is what I do when I don’t spend all of one of my line items.  I used to just put that money in my pocket.  Now, I need to take that money and save it.  One day at a time, right???

I heard a Dave Ramsey podcast yesterday where he read a report by an assistant professor at Washington University.  The professor had done a study that said that it’s more beneficial for people in debt to pay off the loan with the higher interest rate.  Of course, this goes against Dave’s snowball method, which I wholeheartedly agree with.  Dave says that financial problems stem largely from behavioral problems and paying off the smallest loans first will help modify behavior that got the person in debt, in this case me, where they are now. This approach makes sense to me.  It’s a case of reinforcement. When a loan is paid off, a feeling of accomplishment occurs.  The debt-riddled person (again – me!) wants to gain that feeling again, so she decides to work on the next loan.  That debt is paid and reinforcement occurs again.  So, let’s tackle the next debt, and etc…, etc…, etc…  I get it!

It may be a long and winding road.  There will be bumps. There will be curves. There will be sudden stops.  There will also be smooth roads.  There will also be straight lines.  And there will be moments of heavy acceleration.  Buckle up with me.  I’ve got my hands in the proper position, and I am focused on the path ahead.

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One Response to “One Step at a Time”

  1. Courtney January 6, 2013 at 00:35 #

    As long as you are on the road, enjoy the journey

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