Want to hear something crazy? In my last post, I covered how my husband and I had changed our lives by simply doing a written zero-based-budget. Super easy stuff, but life-changing! Well, we also uh-hmm(throat clearing) cut up ALL of our credit cards! Crazy, right? Who would do that? Why so extreme? Let me tell you, It was terrifying! But it needed to be done. Why go through all the trouble of paying off your debt only to return to that same madness, right? So this was the only way for us.
Gather Your Emergency Fund
To prepare for this new chapter, we reserved $1000 for our new Emergency Fund. We cared for it, watched it and most importantly DID NOT TOUCH IT. Dave Ramsey recommends you put aside $1000 when starting what he calls the debt-snowball. Use it to pay down your debts, from smallest to largest in debt amount(not by interest rate). You build up momentum, eventually putting more and more money toward your debts until they are paid off. It totally works! We were caught somewhere between feeling accomplished, and yet still terrified by only having $1000 to fall back on. It keeps a sense of urgency in place.
With the plan now in motion, we sat down with our credit cards spread out on our table and began to cut them up. Well, I watched on in secret horror as Joe did all the cutting. I can’t speak for Joe, but each cut of those cards left me feeling a sting of pain to the good old security gland. While I was excited about making progress, I was worried. We only had that measly $1000 emergency fund to cover emergencies. My brain really knows how to cook up a good anxiety attack. I didn’t just think of one emergency, I thought about several emergencies happening, at the same time! It was very uncomfortable, to say the least.
Learn the Art of Saying “No”
We didn’t spend a dime on anything, go on vacation, to weddings, out to eat, to the movies or even buy new socks. We simply said “no” to everyone and everything. It didn’t matter if folks were disappointed. This was a very short-term existence for us. We made the right choice for ourselves and our son. And I’m happy to report that we now have more than $1000 for emergencies. This plan might not work for you and that is fine. If you’re sick of being crushed by your debt, you know what to do! Take those credit cards and cut ’em, shred ’em, burn ’em, blow ’em up if that’s your thing. Whatever works!