7 Steps to Take to Kill Your Monthly Payment Habit
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Have you ever counted all of the monthly payments that you’re sending out? If you’re not where you would like to be financially and have the feeling that you could be “doing” your financial life a lot more easily-you’re probably right. I learned this lesson accidentally during the course of dealing with an intense debt repayment situation after deciding to become debt-free. I’m not there yet, but, it’s going to happen. Say goodbye to your monthly payments, it’s time.
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Your Monthly Payment
Sucks and are one of the many double-edged swords of personal finance. One day I decided to count the number of payments that I was sending out monthly. I was paying for:
- Credit cards-I had way too many and it was super confusing and hard for me to keep track of. Also, the payments landed throughout the month. For a person who was crap at dealing with credit cards, this was a disaster waiting to happen.
- Student Loans-I borrowed way too much because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and had no guidance on this. That said, I just call my payments to Navient-payments for blessings already received and am focusing on accelerating those payments so that I can kick them to the curb.
- The necessities-There are just things that you pay on each month and they are non-negotiables.
- Electric (which includes my heat)
- Mortgage-I have to live somewhere.
- Internet service (run an online business)
- Transportation costs-You have to get around.
- Investing for the future-Huge.
- Health insurance-Let’s not even go there.
- Car insurance-Can’t drive without it.
- Life insurance-Everyone eventually kicks the bucket. Keep your family safe.
- Groceries-you have to eat.
- Clothing-You can’t hang out nekkid. Or, naked depending on how you would like to say this. Of course, there is a point where this shifts to wants…
The Other payments I call “the Icing on the cake.”
- Fake hair (unless you’re dealing with a hair loss issue-then this may switch to a necessity).
- Happy hours
I sat there adding up all the freaking payments and it’s not surprising to me that I was overwhelmed by all of the entities that I was dealing with financially. Then, add in the emails and letters about payments (even if you’re current) updates on services, etc. That’s a lot of energy being used dealing with a ton of people.
There Had to Be an Easier Way
Recognize that to a certain extent, monthly habits have become a habit. We have become used to paying for services and goods on a monthly basis.
Have you ever taken the time to count the number of automatic payments that you’ve signed up for? Are you shocked like I was? Have you ever thought about what you would do if you lost your job and didn’t have the money to make your payments in the following months?
Do you have enough savings set aside to pay for those services? Have you taken a hard look at how many of your monthly payments are going towards debts versus necessities? Knowing these numbers is key to kicking your monthly payment habit.
How to Kick Your Payments to the Curb
Fortunately, it’s not a difficult as it sounds. Get on the phone and contact the providers of your necessities. Ask them the following questions:
- I would like to pay extra towards my monthly service. How do I go about doing this?
- Moving?(if this is a utility that you’re paying extra on)ask what is the policy and time-frame on getting refunds for prepaid services?
- HOW will you pay me. Organizations are being slick and trying to pay people with debit cards. You may not want that.
- See if there is a way to get your account noted that you’ve made an extra payment and then get an official copy of the communication via email. Usually, your online profile will have this information.
Now I focus on paying the following bills ahead:
- Car Insurance
- Phone (depending on the type of service)
If you don’t have a lot of cash saved up you may want to side-hustle for both savings in general and then tackle one service at a time. Want to put a ton on your heat provider because you live in the Mid-West where heating bills are outrageous? Actively focus on one thing and get it done. Then, move on to the next.
Debt payoffs have been the best part of kicking my monthly payment habit to the curb. It goes without saying that debt payments just suck on so many levels. For me, they have been an incredible energy and time suck. As each bill goes away I’m loving that I have one less organization to deal with. Becoming almost scary obsessed with never borrowing again has changed how I view what I can and cannot afford. Aggressively working on debt-repayment has saved me thousands of dollars on a monthly basis. I focused on kicking these people out of my life and ithas been worth all of the blood, sweat, and tears.
I would actually encourage people to focus on the monthly debt-repayments first because getting them paid off will give you LIFE.
Why Kill Your Monthly Payments?
It’s my opinion that these monthly payments become “white noise” in the background of your life. As I’ve stopped having to deal with so many freaking people, my life has become simpler, and I have a lot more mental energy and financial clarity.
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