3 Things A Paying Off Debt Budget Should Be
Friend to friend advice: Getting debt free is one of the first things you should be doing with your money, if you are in fact in debt.
Being in debt just means you don’t actually own whatever it is you are in debt for. Even your home. It’s funny to me when we say we either rent or own because 9/10 times the people who “own” haven’t paid off their house which means they don’t fully own it. If they couldn’t make payments anymore the bank wouldn’t say “oh well it’s yours so you can just have it”. They’d say well it’s ours because you haven’t paid for it fully.
I’m not a debbie downer guys I promise, but I think we need to reframe the way we think about borrowing money and debt if we want to change our mindset and this includes house payments. That being said, getting out of debt should always be a goal you are having.
In this post I wanted to dive into what a debt budget should look like. Not the exact numbers of everything because there is no way I could tell you those without knowing you situation. But what characteristics it should have in order to be really successful. Let’s do it shall we?
Sorry but I put this first so that I say it upfront. Getting out of debt shouldn’t be easy. Not only because logically how could it be, but because if it was so easy we would just continue to get back into debt again and again.
We need to sweat a little. We need to wonder if we are going to be able to do it. We need to use hope as our life line. And we need to feel it in our heart each time we make a payment. Those feelings, those are feelings that will be remembered. Those are feelings you won’t want to go back to and the ones you think about before you ever borrow money again.
2. Minimal Spending
If you haven’t cut back 90% if not all of your unnecessary spending, you are not on a debt free mission. You are wanting it maybe, and thinking about it, but you are not running full speed ahead to financial freedom.
Your budget when trying to pay off debt should be a minimal spending budget. It should be your bills and a couple necessary expenses and the rest should be going to your debt. (Assuming of course that you already have $1000 in your emergency fund.) Check out some of my example budgets if you are wanting examples of what some minimal budgets look like.
Debt, especially large amounts of debt can take a long time to pay off, sometimes even years. So your budget to pay that off has to be able to sustain itself for that long.
While you can live off a minimal budget for years, I think what makes a budget sustainable is checkmarks. If the light at the end of the tunnel is far down, give yourself a few quick peaks of light throughout. Give yourself rewards, small ones, when you get each credit card paid off. (I’m talking small rewards.) Giving yourself something to look forward to can make all the difference for gaining momentum.
Plus if you have been on a minimal budget small rewards, though small, will feel bigger because you haven’t been able to have those things for awhile. It will make a difference trust me!
So no matter the numbers of your debt free budget these three things should definitely be apart of it. What else does your debt free budget look like? Share in the comments for others to see!
Also to note about house debt. I understand it is more of a socially acceptable debt, I get it. But I still believe that you should work towards paying this off faster than the typical time you sign up for (15-30 years). But if house debt is the last debt I’d say you are free to loosen the reigns a tiny bit. I just think it’s still important to make paying your house off a big priority. So that you not only own it for real, but you won’t pay thousands of extra dollars in interest! ;)