What’s the Difference Between an Elephant and a Chocolate Chip Cookie?

We paid off one more bill this week, and I feel different. When we paid off the first two bills, I was excited about it and still unsure if we can continue this. Can we keep the momentum and stay focused? 

I’m not totally amazed that we managed it – I’m CONFIDENT about it!  We can see the progress we’ve made, and yes, we still have disagreements about the budget.  

We had our first emergency -we gave our daughter $60 before we reviewed the budget or paid our bills.  She didn’t ask for it – we just gave it to her and wondered how this would blow our budget later. And, without going into our emergency fund we still paid off the Kohl’s card this week. 

Having an emergency fund – takes the emergency out it.  We’re planning a visit with family and we’ll pay cash for the trip.  We made a slight change to our budget and if we don’t spend all the travel money – we’ll pay on the next bill.  My husband asked if we have access to the emergency fund on our trip or should we take a credit card?  (Remember – this is 80% behavioral and 20% head knowledge).   

Our progress so far (first month)

  • $1000 Emergency Fund
  • $1007 Debt Snowball paid (smallest three bills)
  • Paying cash for car trip

So, we had the discussion of the Debt Snowball versus the Debt Avalanche, which is paying off the highest interest rates first.  Yes – mathematically this makes sense, but if we use that logic, we wouldn’t have gotten into debt in the first place.   Its like dieting, I need that quick five-pound loss to motivate me on a new goal.  I know all the logical health benefits of losing weight and drinking water. Weight management is emotional as well – I need to see results quickly or I’ll give up.   

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at time” Or like my niece says,” What’s the difference between an elephant and a chocolate chip cookie?  You can’t dip an elephant in your milk.”

According to Psychology today article https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201509/the-psychological-trick-will-help-you-pay-debt-fast smaller task keeps your motivation going

  • Start with smaller goals to help you stick to your budget (or your weight loss)
  •  “…breaking debt down into small, more manageable task could help you stay on track so you can get out of debt faster”.  
  • You’re motivated to complete the task.   You might budget $50 less for groceries so you can pay off that credit card!  

This is my Debt Snowball tracker in my bullet journal.  I create simple basic layouts that are colorful and easy to maintain.  I admire the artistic creativity of other bullet journalist – but this is my style.  My bullet journal works for me – just like the debt snow ball works for my debt free journey.

So what keeps you motivated? Leave your comments below and join the conversation

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