“When are we going to start the snowball?”
Yesterday my husband voiced his first words of frustration. We are now two and a half months into starting the Dave Ramsey plan and he is feeling antsy. No, he hasn’t changed his mind on wanting to do this. He is simply eager to start throwing those snowballs. He wants to go to battle! Our conversation got me to thinking. The war on debt really is a lot like going to battle. We’ve identified the enemy (our debt) and my husband is eager to take it down. I am too, but also want to feel fully prepared (or as best we can) to tackle this enormous giant. Over our years together, we’ve won a few small debt wars, but have never gone against one as big as the one we are currently facing. In order to be completely victorious (meaning ridding ourselves of ALL our debt!) there was some planning that had to be done.
- Acknowledge that we do have enemies. In this case, it was our debt. If we kept ignoring it, it would eventually completely take us down.
- Identify our enemies. We did this by listing all of our debts, no matter the size.
- Research how to take out our enemies (debt). We settled on Dave Ramsey’s plan of action. although did “customize” it just a bit by continuing our 401k contributions and having a bigger emergency fund in place.
- Start with the initial preparation. In this case, getting a baby emergency fund in place. We have stalled a bit on this because we kept wanting to add even more to it.
- Create a budget so you know how much you have to work with. It may take some work, but it is a key element to winning the war. We tweaked ours as we continued working on our baby emergency fund.
- Plan your attack. Using our chosen plan, it was by arranging our debts smallest to largest. We also looked at things that might get in our way and cause us to stall (irregular expenses) and did a little rearranging of our financial seasons.
- Start consistently throwing those snowballs! To an extent, we hurt our initial feeling of intensity by throwing a “test snowball” thanks to an unexpected escrow refund. While it was great to eliminate a debt and also get two installment loans paid ahead, having to retreat and do a little more planning then became a source of frustration for my husband.
What I have learned since declaring war on our own debt is that there are a lot of battles going on! Not only that, but there are also a lot of different approaches being used when it comes to battling this enemy. One way doesn’t make another way wrong. They key is in having a plan in place, including taking the necessary preparatory steps, to win the battle! And winning this battle against debt is the ultimate goal!
What are some things you have done to prepare to go to battle against your debt?