Three Tools You'll Need to Climb Out of Debt

In 2003 my wife and I were $32,000 in debt. I was a youth minister; she was a middle school teacher—we weren’t exactly raking it in. In one year, without buying a book or attending a seminar, we eradicated every penny of our debt. Here are the three tools we used to climb our way out of the pit of debt in which we found ourselves:

Tool 1: Imagination—we envisioned what our life could be like if we were debt free. This led to our why. We wanted for one of us to be able to stay home and not work so we could start a family. Envision your financial future. Find your why.

Tool 2: Plan—we were given a plan to work. Every penny we earned, found, or were given was part of this plan. Though we didn’t have this form at the time, I’ve since found this Debt Snowball form helpful.

Tool 3: Time—we knew we couldn’t live lean forever and enjoy ourselves. We set a time-bound goal.* We determined that in one year we would be debt free. With God’s help, and a whole lot of effort, we accomplished our goal.

Find a certified financial planner that you trust and get going. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

*The best goals meet what I call The M.A.R.K. criteria: Measurable. Accountable. Realistic. Kingdom-minded.