Your Debt Payoff Plan: Start Small… But Start

by Kevin on June 20, 2013

Getting into debt happens almost before you know it. An emergency pops up here and there, so you reach for the credit card. You fully intend to pay off the debt in a few months, but then life happens. You forget, you get busy, and that new gaming console is released that you just had to have.

The horrible thing about debt is it is so easy to get into, but climbing out of it is so hard. This happens because it seems like a fun slide into debt with all the new stuff, trips, and memories that debt buys. But then the weight of those items and the recurring interest payments on top of them pile up on your back.

You look at the tattered rope ladder hanging down into your debt hole. You shift the crushing weight on your back a bit, and pause.

It seems so far…

Once you have been in the hole of debt for a while it can be hard to remember what it was like to not be in debt at all.

Debt starts to feel… normal.

Sure your back hurts. Sure, you can see the light at the very top of the hole. But you shrug it off. It would be too much work to climb out.

One day you come to your senses. Maybe it is when that expensive electronics item you purchased three years ago and still haven’t paid off (!!) breaks down. You realize you haven’t paid off the original purchase and want to buy a new one to replace it… but something doesn’t add up. Maybe you read a great personal finance article. Maybe you have a friend that reaches out to you.

Whatever happens to trigger it. You decide.

It’s time.

It’s time for a debt payoff plan.

Debt Payoff Plan: Just Start One

There is great mathematical argument amongst personal finance pundits and bloggers about the most efficient way to pay off debt.

Dave Ramsey is on the “pay the smallest balance first to build psychological momentum with small wins” side of the house.

I, historically, have been on the “pay off the highest interest to save the most amount of money possible” side of the house.

Both plans work. Both plans get you out of debt. If you perfectly used both plans in the same situation, one would result in higher interest payments than the other.

But none of that matters — all the arguing, planning, and worrying — if you aren’t paying off debt at all.

Seriously, Get Started Now

There is a saying in business: “it isn’t the idea, it’s the execution!”

Everyone can come up with the next great business idea. Anyone could dream up the next big franchise restaurant idea. But few have the gumption to put their nose to the grindstones making the idea come to life.

Instead of buying another book on personal finance (with a credit card that is already closed to maxed out) just get started. Pick a plan of action and execute. Plans are meaningless without execution.

Get going. Start sending off extra payments to your debts in any order you like. As long as you are paying off debt in some manner, you are bettering your financial situation.


Insurance Hunter June 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm

You are 100% right about the importance of just getting started with your debt repayment plan. Even if you can only pay off a little bit right now, it is much better than falling further behind.

David S. @ PBC July 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Many people will agree with your points. It does not matter if we start small provided we are serious in paying off our debts.

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