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Small Change, Big Difference
Change is hard. There. We said it.
But that doesn't mean it can't be done! It's why we're here and it's why you're here. Not only does our community have some of the best tips on change available on the web, but we try to round up the best of the best online for you, too!
Like these from The Simple Dollar on reducing your debt. The writer, Trent, advocates a day-by-day approach, which sounds easier than it is. Therefore, he's given some useful tips for managing each day as you go.
Make your daily goals clear and concrete. As Trent points out, "I will spend less money today" is not specific enough. It relies on memory to tell you how much you spent the day before, even a week before. Instead, try to go with goals that are more measurable, such as "The only money I will spend today will be for groceries and bills."
Make your daily goals realistic. In order to succeed, you must understand that this process takes a little time. Don't set a goal where you prepare yourself for failure. "I will pay off three credit cards today" isn't realistic for most people. If it's within your range to do so, you wouldn't be reading this. Choose realistic goals that will help you be motivated along the way.
Consider the big picture. You have to consider whether or not your daily goals will have an adverse affect on your overall plan. If you say that you won't spend any money at all today, that likely means you're putting off spending for another day. Instead, try to focus on not spending any money outside of your budget.
Keep a journal to mark you progress. It's important to keep track of your accomplishments, and even your setbacks. You can analyze what you were doing and make changes, jot down ideas to make it easier, or just talk about your struggles. If you prefer to type, start a blog. It doesn't have to be public if you'd prefer to keep it to yourself. Either way, make it a part of your daily routine.
Trent had several other tips to help make the day-by-day planning a little easier, so we highly encourage you to check it out. Do you find that you are overwhelmed by the big picture, or do you already break things down to daily goals? Please share any experiences you've had with daily planning to reduce debt-we want to hear it!
Yes, if I look at my big picture of debt, it's very scary. But as long as I take it one month at a time, I'm fine. I have my goals in place, and I'm sticking to my plan. In fact, as of this month we will have one of our five credit cards paid off! (We each have two credit cards and one joint one.) That is a huge accomplishment that took a whole year to make happen. The next one will take almost two years to pay off, but slow and steady wins the race!