In the car this morning, I heard a researcher say that a link has been observed between non-specific goals and depression. I don’t remember many of the details, but the concept caught my attention because I’ve been thinking about how I need more concrete debt repayment goals. I’ve heard many times that the more specific and measurable the goal, the more likely we are to achieve it. (Thus, “Exercise more,” is a much less successful New Years resolution than, “Complete three 5K races.”) With that in mind, here are my more concrete debt repayment goals for this year:
- Bring total credit card debt down $4,000 in 2014. Since there are essentially eight months left in the year, this means an average of $500 per month. Given that I won’t be working at my primary job for four of these months, this feels appropriately specific ($4K total), yet flexible (average of $500 per month).
- Earn $300 each month of my summer break. How will I do this without a job? Excellent question! While the idea of picking up extra sources of income is certainly not a unique one, it really became much more concrete for me when I read about Joan’s Financial Journey on the Man Vs. Debt blog. I’ll address my existing “side hustles” in a later post, but I believe that $300 a month in additional income is achievable for me this summer through my very small business, consignment and other forms of selling our unused things, and various other sources.
- Develop more of a debt-repayment dialog with my husband. This truly is a story for another post, but my husband is not really a part of this journey. It’s not that he’s a big spender, or isn’t interested in paying down our debt. When we got married, we agreed that I would be the point-person for our finances and most household shopping. Initially, this meant just paying our bills on time, but as our financial situation has deteriorated, it’s become more complex than that. For a variety of reasons, I haven’t pushed him to have monthly meetings and discuss our strategy with me on a regular basis, and I really need to.
What do you think of my goals? Are they specific and achievable? What are you debt repayment and financial goals for the remainder of 2014?