Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This is what debt freedom looks like

That grainy BlackBerry pic is the account summary from my last credit card statement. In case you can't read it, is says that I started with a balance of $679.45, I made $853.83 in purchases (had a business trip that was reimbursed), then paid that off, plus some to the tune of $1,015.28.

The end result is that I'm $500 from freedom, and that $500 will be gone tomorrow. So why'd I post that, besides the fact that I'm ridiculously excited to see the balance drop to zero? Because images are among the most powerful motivating tools you can have when working toward a goal. So for those of you accepting my $0 Balance Challenge, I want you to think about the most powerful images you can think of that would motivate you toward paying off that card and using credit more responsibly in the future.

For me, motivation was as simple as seeing the balance slowly come down from nearly $8,000 to almost zero over the course of a year. Anytime I was having a bad day, I'd
log in to my account online and see where the balance was, reminding myself that I was inching closer to my goal. That's a good tool I'd recommend for most people: take the account summary from each month's statement, and tape them in order to a piece of posterboard, and hang the poster somewhere you can see it. You'll soon be looking at a visual history of the debt going away and know you're making progress.

For others, it could be looking at a picture of your family and knowing you're giving them greater financial security, of finding a picture of your dream house, car or TV and knowing the less credit card debt you have, the closer you are to obtaining those things.

Whatever your visual motivation is, find it today, put it somewhere prominent and look at it often. Stay motivated!


Lechelle said...

Congrats on your zero balance!

I do see myself becoming debt-free, but I need a few things first to take place to see my dream come true...more revenue or additional revenue. Things are just tight, but I know I need to start somewhere. Therefore, I have been brings my lunch more and more every week.

Keith T. Reed said...

Hey, Lechelle. I know things are tight, but trust me, there's always a way. Tomorrow I'm posting two testimonials from blog readers who found a way to find the money to make extra payments and cut down their debt. I believe most people can do this, but it requires diligent budgeting and a lot of discipline to stick to what's in your budget.

Niema Jordan said...

I've tacked three index cards to my wall. Starting balance, current balance, and of course the goal. Each month I will change the middle card. Everyday I will be able to see where I started, how far I've gotten, and how I've got to go.

Mia6998 said...

I like Niema's idea with the index cards.

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