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Goal Setting is the Key to Debt Reduction

Jun 13, 2008
Is goal setting a valid strategy to reduce debt? Personal financial debt can seem overwhelming at times. It can cause much frustration and tension in our lives. As a matter of fact, financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce in this country. Debt can also lead to poor health.

There is a way out of debt. It takes three steps. First, you must admit that you have too much debt. Next, you must commit to adopting the required actions to bring down your debt. Finally, you must use goal setting to establish a step-by-step plan to get out of debt.

The first step in goal setting for debt reduction is to examine how much debt you have. Most people are not mindful of the total debt they face. This adds to your stress because neglecting a problem doesn't cause it to go away. Most experts propose creating a chart or spreadsheet that lists all of your creditors and the amount you owe. Also list the rate of interest for each debt. Then prioritize which creditors you need to pay off first.

The next step in debt reduction goal setting is to determine the minimum payment each creditor will accept. List that on the chart or spreadsheet. Keep in mind that if you only make the minimum payment each month, your finance charges will eat up most, if not all, of your payment. There are a number of free debt reduction calculators accessible on the web. This will help you determine how much additional you need to pay. It will also help you with your goal setting endeavors.

At this point, many people feel completely overcome by the amount of debt they may be confronting. If you find yourself in this position, you might want to think about a credit counseling or debt consolidation service. There are several good ones available. Check with you local Better Business Bureau and online to make the decision which is the correct choice for you.

In your goal setting and analysis, you may decide that you are not able to afford to make any increase in your current debt reduction payments. This isn't necessarily true. Review your present household budget and search for areas where small modifications can be made. Remember, it only takes a few dollars added to your monthly debt payments to make a difference.

Additional goal setting ideas for debt reduction are to trim back your expenses. Examine your utility expenses. This is an area we have a little control. Also have a look at cutting down your grocery spending. Buy only those items you truly need by keeping away from impulse items. Buying at wholesale warehouse club stores will usually save you money. Cut up your credit cards. Drastic but it works. Carry only one major credit card and use it only for emergencies.

Goal setting will help you stay motivated to bring down your debt. Post your chart or spreadsheet so that you can see it. Divide your goals into small chunks. This will produce some easy wins. Post those wins on your chart. It's also important that you give yourself rewards for reaching those goals. This will help you stay motivated. Goal setting to bring down your debt can be fun if it is set about with the right intent. Finally, statistics indicate that most people who apply goal setting to bring down their debt are debt free in three to four years. In the scheme of things, that is a very short time.
About the Author
Dick Ingersoll is an eternal student, and is fired up to share what he is learning with others. He has pulled it all together for you at: Simple Goal Setting
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