Debt emancipation is a process

Briana over at How’s Married Life is emancipating her debt. She’s hoping to speed up the time it takes to free herself from her debt by paying it down faster.

Debt reduction is a process. It takes a clear vision of the end state (no debt) and a good plan to get there (snowballing, extra income, etc.). It’s often brought about by embarrassment (“Your card is declined”) to pain (no savings, lost opportunities, or worse).

Best wishes to Briana on seeing this process through!

Challenges are great, but too many can be overwhelming?

We’re digging back into the submissions from July 2011, and working back up. (Here’s what’s changed.)

This post features 20 and Engaged. I shared a cab ride back to the airport with her from FinCon11.

Her post on July financial challenges is a few months old now, but the gist of it was that she was gearing up for a number of goals for the month. Such as:

  • The “No Spend” challenge: Spending only on essentials
  • The “Use It Up” challenge: Buying only when you run out of something
  • Save more: Goosing that bank account up from $3
  • Get financially organized: (I hear you!)

Ambitious, no? One could argue that the first two complement each other, because using stuff up helps you not to spend. So let’s call it 3.5 challenges for the month of July. 🙂 From my standpoint, I have trouble with just one big challenge. If she could handle all of those challenges, and meet them, she’s far better than most people!

Success breeds success. If you can get through one challenge in a month, that gives a great boost in confidence. But if you take on four challenges and get through one of them, it seems to be more failure than success. The same number of challenges were conquered in each case, but batting 1.000 seems better than batting 0.250.

It’s all a matter of taste, stamina, pain tolerance, etc., how much we take on, but if taking on too much is self-defeating, try dialing it back a bit. Take things on in reasonable chunks. Your stress level will be lower, and “the challenge” won’t seem as great as it would otherwise, which means you’ll have a better chance of actually meeting it!