Three years ago, we had nearly eliminated our credit card debt. We had at least gotten it down to some level that could be paid off in the forseeable future. Now, not so much. There are a number of good reasons why we ended up here: school expenses, medical expenses, home repairs and improvements. But there are bad ones, too. A “need” for new things. Travel. We spent a ton of money going to see family last year. Kind of necessary, but we could have probably done it cheaper. Instead, we charged it.
I’m not proud of this fact, but I’m not alone. Many Americans out there face this same situation. It doesn’t help that there’s a lot of shame (sometimes) surrounding credit card debt.
I’m trying to whittle away at it. And despite having a kid going off to college this year, I think I can make some significant progress, but it’s going to take work. It’s like the weight loss thing in many ways. Things go up and down, but you want the trend to be down. My trend has been up for far too long. It’s such a slow process. While I can see progress for weight loss in weeks, progress in this area will take months at best (barring some kind of windfall).
I have to kind of trick myself into dealing with this, using game techniques to keep myself on track and interested. I try to see how long I can go without spending money. I make payments that create an even balance. I write little programs to generate savings goals for the week. If I don’t do things like that, it just seems boring and awful and depressing.
Anyone out there have little tricks that work for them to achieve long term goals?