Confession: I’m in debt. And it’s pretty bad. It’s the long-term result of a young divorce, being chronically ill, going to school, and some bad decisions. Whatever the cause, it sucks. I know many people who have successfully declared bankruptcy and it has changed their lives for the better, but I know that’s not the option for me. I know I have the resources to pay my debt off, it’s just going to take an amazing amount of discipline and perseverance.
I was reading some great blogs about debt and some inspiring stories of people who have paid down more debt that I have. It gives me great encouragement to know that what I’m trying to do is totally possible. I have enough going on in my life right now–I do not need the stress of being financially terrified forever.
I’ve soaked up a lot of tips and tools from these fine folks over the last few days, and one of my absolute favorites is the website Ready for Zero. It’s super simple and similar in design to Mint.com (which is another financial organization website I highly recommend). While Mint is sort of a keep-track-of-everything site, Ready for Zero solely focuses on debt and your goal of total freedom from it. It’s free to use, and in addition to all of the wonderful graphs and charts that make you feel like even a small success is worth it–it is also filled with links and blogs and tips and resources and… oh my! Whether you have a mountain of debt spread across five credit cards, seventeen student loans, and whatever else you might be trapped by… or just a single card that you want to really stay on top of, RFZ will help you stay motivated.
Here are some links to sites I’ve found helpful/motivating:
I also love reading and have found Suze Orman’s books to be helpful. I don’t think ALL of her advice is practical for every single person, but even if the specifics of her ideas don’t apply to a particular situation, the general concepts are great.
So that’s that. I’m still near the very beginning of this process, but it’s nice to have a goal and some effective ways of tracking it. If any of you know of some other resources, I’d love to hear them. I’ll surely post more as I find them, as I know I’m not the only one who is in this situation.
I can’t solve the world’s problems, but I can at least take responsibility for my own. To Zero!