Debt Reduction, Money Management

Take Back Control

Happy New Year!

Here’s how I rid myself of consumer debt – and took back control of my financial future.  (No gimmicks necessary…)

First, I sat down with my wife and had an honest conversation about our finances.  We talked about where we were, where we were headed, and where we wanted to be.  This conversation – and the many similar conversations that followed it – changed our lives.  I will ever be grateful for my awesome, amazing wife.

Second, I created a plan to get out of debt.  My plan was simple, easy-to-execute, and realistic.

Third, I found freedom through structure, by using a zero-based monthly budget.  Every dollar that enters our home is designated to either spending, giving, or saving.  The smartest decision I have ever made – even smarter than the decision to get out of debt – was the decision to live on a budget.  Without a budget, money finds a way of disappearing.

Fourth, I created a system for organizing my financial documents, bills, taxes, online accounts, etc.  The shear volume of information and paperwork associated with personal finance can become overwhelming.  For me, it is imperative that I keep things neat, organized, and (my favorite organizational word) de-cluttered.  Simplicity rocks!

Fifth, I accepted accountability.  For me (and this still feels very strange to think about, even after all these years) my accountability came from this blog.  Literally, I told (and still tell) my story – to the entire world.  (Okay, I will not exaggerate.  The site has yet to reach the entire world – but I still have hope!  Help me out!  Be sure to subscribe to No Credit Needed via free daily email or rss – and don’t forget to follow me –  Also, use the buttons below to share this article!)  It’s good to share your story (warts and all) with someone.  Trust me, you are not the only one going through what you are going through.

Sixth, I just kept (and keep) going.  It’s one thing to have a good plan, to put it into place, to get started, and to make some progress.  It’s another thing, entirely, to keep going, to keep moving forward, and to keep making progress.  The day after I paid off that final debt, I already knew that my journey – rather than ending – had really just begun.  Surround yourself with like-minded people, positive voices, and folks who will pull for you – but you will still have to be the one to impliment the plan.

No Credit Needed is an independently-operated, single-author, personal finance blog.  Rock on.