Christmas is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about a gift that could change your family tree for years to come: freedom from debt!
Right now, that might seem like a huge holiday wish. And honestly, you might not be able to clear all your debt by December. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking the first steps toward debt-free living right now.
By starting your journey today, you can make amazing progress by the end of the year. Just think about this: The average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 in the first 90 days of completing Financial Peace University (FPU)!
That’s an $8,000 turnaround—in just three short months! That kind of momentum can carry you through the holidays and into 2017 with a renewed sense of hope. But you need to start now.
Here are four things you can do to gain traction before Christmas.
1. Join (or lead) a Financial Peace University class.
If you’re not already taking FPU, now’s the perfect time to start. Classes are beginning across the country, and you can use our Class Finder to find one near you.
If you want to take it a step further, you can help yourself while helping others by becoming an FPU coordinator. You don’t need experience to lead a class. You just need a heart that wants to see change in your life and in the lives of others.
2. Get on a budget.
One of the first things you learn in FPU is how to create a monthly budget. That’s really important because while you may have wandered into debt, you’ll never wander out. You need a plan!
Budgeting gives you the discipline to put your plan into action. It also puts the power back in your hands instead of letting your money call the shots.
3. Work your debt snowball.
The first Baby Step in FPU challenges you to build a $1,000 starter emergency fund. The second Baby Step has you attack your debt using the debt snowball method.
The idea is pretty simple. You work hard to pay off your smallest debt as quickly as possible. Once that’s done, you take the money you were paying on that debt and add it to the payment for your next smallest debt. Over time, the snowball grows and more debt gets paid off!
Again, this doesn’t happen by accident. You have to get mad at your debt instead of defending it. You may even need to increase your income by selling something or getting a second job. But as the snowball grows, so will your hope for living a debt-free life.
4. Stick to the plan.
Since 1994, more than 4.5 million people have broken the chains of debt through FPU. It worked for them. It will work for you. You just have to stick with it!
A journey of a thousand miles really does begin with one step. The best day to take your first step toward debt-free living is today. Make the move now and make progress by 2017!