12 Months to Being Debt Free – Looking Forward and Looking Back

 How to Prepare for Your Post-Debt Life

12 Months to Being Debt Free – Looking Forward and Looking Back

For many of you, December is the last month of your debt-free journey.  If you are on track to paying off all your debt by the end of the year, then I would like to wish you sincere congratulations! You have worked hard and you deserve to be proud of tackling a challenge that many Canadians face.

If you haven’t managed to pay off all your debt, then it’s important you don’t despair. Setbacks are a part of life, but think about the progress you have made this year. Even though you haven’t completely wiped out your debt, the strides you have made, big or small, are still important.

Whether or not you eliminate your debt this year or still have a ways to go, I want to leave you with a few notes now that we’ve come to the end of this 12-month trial.

You Can Finish Your Journey in 2017

Just because you haven’t reached your goal yet doesn’t mean that you can’t stay on track and become debt free in 2017. It’s important to keep up the momentum and not get too discouraged. You may even want to go back and re-read the first installment of this series to remind yourself of the skills you’ll need to become debt free in 2017.

It might also be helpful for you to create a timeline so you can map out how much longer it will take you to get out of debt. It might take you the full 12 months of 2017 or you might just have another month or two to go. Knowing this can help galvanize your efforts and help you get past that finish line.

Resolve to Never be in Debt Again

Whether you’ve reached your goal in 12 months or not, commit to never being in debt again. One option is to never use your credit card again unless you are sure that you have the money to pay the entire bill at the end of the month. You can also avoid debt in the future by saving an emergency fund in order to cover unexpected costs or emergencies.

Other ways to avoid debt is to re-evaluate the things that you actually need versus the things that you want. It’s all about creating a budget and being disciplined. Many of us accrue debt because we make bad choices and buy things on impulse. Making responsible decisions is key to having a healthy financial future.

Reflect on Your Journey

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your debt-free journey. While it’s all still fresh in your mind, take some time to recognize the lessons that you’ve learned on being frugal, finding ways to make more money, making sacrifices, or dealing with people who did not support your journey.

Now, you can also apply these lessons towards future financial goals and ensure success. Want to save for a down payment on a home? The money that would have gone to debt repayment can now go towards your home fund. Ready to set up a retirement fund? Make a concerted effort to save or make more money and look into RRSPs or other savings accounts.

While it might have been a difficult lesson, take advantage of what you learned to live a better and more secure life.

Thank You and Good Luck!

Thank you for following along with this series! It is my hope that I have helped you pay off your debt and live a less stressful and more financially secure life.  Congrats on all your hard work and have a wonderful 2017.

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