Crush Your Debt… Next Year

by Kevin on November 3, 2011

You know you need to get out of debt. You know the costs and interest are too high to continue paying. It feels like you are never going to get out because you never find enough motivation to get started. Maybe today is the day you break through, but let’s be honest. There are only two months left in the year. Those months are full of three major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve) that usually require a lot of travel and money spent on gifts or eating out.

You’ve made it this far in the year without making any progress, and the likelihood the light switch finally goes off in your head right now is pretty slim. Any motivation you found today would most likely be overwhelmed by all the Christmas party invitations, Black Friday advertisements, and Christmas sales. You know it. I know it. So let’s be honest about it.

Does that mean you should give up and mail it in this year?

Hell. No.

Use Today to Plan for Next Year

As financially overwhelming as the next two months of your life are bound to be, don’t just give up. Be honest about your situation – you’re probably going to spend more than you need to – but that acknowledgement doesn’t give you free reign to go crazy with your credit card.

If you don’t think overspending is unavoidable for the holiday months, that’s fine, because you know it now. You know you will have a slightly larger hole to dig out of next year. That means you need to start planning to dominate your debt next year.

How to Set Up Your Debt Plan for Next Year

If you wait until January 3rd to decide to finally do something about your debt, it is already an uphill battle you face. It’s just like waking up on New Year’s Day and deciding you’re going to go run 5 miles. If you haven’t been training up for that distance you are going to quit about 3 minutes into running, feel miserable, and regress to sitting on the couch eating your favorite snack food.

So you know a tough year is ahead of you, and you have time to plan. How do you do it? It really isn’t that hard. You need to know how much money you will make on a monthly basis, how much money you will spend on a monthly basis, and what’s left after you do that math. You also need to know how large your total pile of debt is going to be, so estimate high coming off of the holidays. It is better to be surprised at a lower debt burden than overwhelmed by a massive one.

Once you have those figures you know approximately how much money you will be away to send in toward your debts to slowly chip away at the balances. You’ll most likely see the need to earn additional income next year based on what’s left every month. Use your time now to figure out a game plan on how to earn more, spend less, cut costs, and pay off your debt faster. If you put together a great plan now, next year will start with execution of the plan rather than waffling on creating one.

Do a Trial Run For 2 Months

If you get really┬ámotivated you can use the next 2 months as a trial run for your debt plan for next year. Even if you don’t actually send in your extra dollars toward your debt (you do have some Christmas shopping to do, right?), you will be able to see what it will actually look and feel like to tackle everything next year.

Don’t let these two months slip by and find yourself in the same unmotivated, indebted, and lost situation next year. Start planning today so you can start next year off in a way that will permanently change your financial situation!

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