Setting reasonable goals is a cornerstone in the quest to get debt FREE ! What’s that saying ? “If you shoot for nothing, you’ll hit it every time”. My suggestion is always to list your debts from lowest to highest and to start knocking them off one by one. You do need to define that more clearly by setting a goal of paying off the first 3 debts by the end of 2011 for example.
Specific and Measurable
Your goals need to be specific. You can’t just have a goal to get debt free. You have to be detailed. A goal could look like this – I will pay off my Mastercard bill of $2500.00. Your goal should also be measurable. Take stock of all of the debt that you owe. Take out a piece of paper and list your debts. How many credit cards do you have etc…
Your goals have to be attainable. While it’s important to set big goals, they have to be something that you can in fact achieve. You can’t say that you want to pay off a $5,000 credit card by Christmas if you only make $10,000 a year. Make goals that are challenging, but realistic. A realistic goal might be that you are going to pay off a $550 credit card bill by New Year’s Eve.
Is getting debt FREE relevant for your family ? Why is it important ? Write down how different your life would be with NO DEBT. Your debt free journey will become so much more meaningful when you do this. Our goals are easier to achieve when we can visualize the impact to our family and our life.
This is a topic near and dear to my heart because I have lived this for the past several years. My goals have all centered around Thanksgiving. In 2007, I set a goal to have all of our credit cards paid off by Thanksgiving. The next year I set my sights on paying off my 2006 mini van by Thanksgiving of 2008. In 2009 my goal was to have my husband’s student loans paid off by Thanksgiving. Last year the goal was to have my hubby’s Dogde Durango paid off by – you guessed it- Thanksgiving ! The funny thing is that some years I have cut it SO close that I have been scrambling on Black Friday to get to the bank to make sure whatever big check I had made out would actually clear. I think one year it bounced (the first year), but it was payday so it missed by hours. It all worked out in the end.
This is the first year that we haven’t had a huge financial goal at Thanksgiving. I am in a holding pattern with the move and the double mortgage. Our focus is to get our current house on the market and sold so that we can get our biggest goal (paying off the mortgage) in gear. I think that one may take more than one Thanksgiving to accomplish though. I must make it attainable right ?
How are you doing? Have you set big goals for your family ?