Congratulations and keep up the good work

Congratulations and keep up the good work. Don’t let anyone or thing disuade you. When you are debt free you will feel even better than you do now.

Here are some tips that you may have heard of (or not).

Snowballing: Snowballing is when you have a set dollar amount you use to pay toward your total debt each month. The amount remains the same until you are out of debt. You can start paying bills off in a number of ways. Choosing to put the amount over the minimum payments toward the debt with the highest interest rate will save you most in the long run, however, choosing to put it toward the smaller balances can give you good momentum to keep going. Everytime you pay a bill off the total amount in your budget going to your debt stays the same, but you increase your payment to a larger amount on the next outstanding debt on your list to pay off. I hope I am being clear.

Envelopes: This system is great for controlling spending. There are a number of ways to use it. I originally read about it in “Financial Peace” by Dave Ramsey. You take ordinary envelopes, label them different categories from your budget (ie… one for Groceries, one for Gas, one for recreation, etc…) you must use the money in all the essential envelopes for what it is intended. Lest you find yourself with out money for groceries….

This is important: the only envelope you can borrow money from is the recreation (or other non essential) envelope. When doing recreation activities it is important to stay within the amount left in your envelope. This is a good method for tracking your money. On the outside of the envelope write what you spent the money on as you go. At the end of the first week, you will know if you are staying in your budget and what things you tend to use your money for. You will also have avoided putting things on your Credit Card that are easily handled with cash. Be careful carrying those envelopes around. Spending cash for items tends to help curb spending habits. Credit is so easy and you have no visual concept of or hands on attachment to your cash.

parks: this is a CHEAP fun summer activity for the kids I read in a magazine. (I believe it as Focus on the Family) Map out the parks in your area. Then take the kids to a different park in the city everyday until you have been to all of them then revisit your favorites.

austerity for a month: Pretend you have no money..:)For one month cut out all the essentials. What money you save can go towards debt, retirement, or perhaps get the kids involved and what you save could go toward the summer vacation.

pay car note 2 times a month: paying any note more than once amonth will cut down on the amount of interest you are paying. Many banks will help you set up Bi-monthly payment on automatic draft. If you credit rating is still far from excellent you may still get a loan for bad credit at or other similar websites.

Call past due creditors to see about negotiating a lower rate/or even balance. Many creditors will lower your rates/some even give you a break on what you owe, if you explain that you are trying to pay off your debts and want to make payment arrangements with them..

So anyway, these are a few ideas for you or for anyone who may want to try them. You have to pick out the methods that are right for you. You obviously are doing a great job with what methods you are currently using. Keep up the good work! Cheryl