The Power of One Small Step

A wise man once made me a shirt that says, “Debt Sucks!” And you know what, it sure does.

It sucks the energy out of your body.

It sucks the fun out of your life.

And it sucks the money right out of your budget.

Finding the courage and will power to make a change with your finances usually comes at a moment of frustration and depression. My own moment came when I was at, what felt like, the lowest point in my life. I was unemployed, living with my mother, 2 years post divorce, broke, in debt and without a vehicle.

That night after my car had been rendered unfix-able, I cried for hours. When I realized that it was getting me no where, I decided to take one step in a positive direction. I figured that I could do one thing that night and the next day, I’d do one more thing.

One small step led to another small step which lead to a huge leap. Eventually I found myself making better choices and working towards improving my life.

15 Small Steps You Can Take TODAY

  1. Cut up a credit card.
  2. Cut up ALL of your credit cards.
  3. Call a credit card company and ask for a lower annual percentage rate.
  4. Open a savings account and set an automatic deposit of $5 each week.
  5. Balance your checking account.
  6. Cancel your cable service.
  7. Plan your meals for a week to avoid eating out.
  8. Skip that afternoon coffee run.
  9. Place yourself on an allowance.
  10. Cancel plans you have to go out to dinner and cook at home instead.
  11. Contact your cell phone provider and ask how you can save on your monthly bill.
  12. Make a list of small steps you can take each day to make a difference in your financial life.
  13. Inventory your house and find items that you can sell for extra cash.
  14. Make an extra payment on your smallest credit card bill.
  15. Sign up for Mint and start tracking your spending.

Once you have made a small step today, make a plan for what you are going to do tomorrow. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it to your mirror or on your calendar. When tomorrow comes, do it!

These small steps are going to add up to a big difference in your life. I imagine that pulling yourself out of debt is like waking up after the perfect night’s sleep and the only thing you have to do during the day is spend it on the most beautiful beach you’ve ever seen. I’m not there yet but if I close my eyes, I can almost smell the salt water.

Do you have any other small steps that you can make?

Team EOD member, Jessica Streit is a freelance writer. She writes for the personal finance site, Finance Wand as well as many others. She blogs as The Debt Princess.


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4 Responses to “The Power of One Small Step”

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  1. Jonny says:

    Well researched article Jessica 🙂

  2. This past week my wife and I set out on a mission to pay off $5k in cc debt by june. We paid all our bills early for the month of april, and our next 2 checks are going right to bills. It feels really good to pay down debt!!!

  3. This is a good list. I am actually pro-credit cards. Off-course if you don’t know how to use them, you should cut ’em off. And also Yodlee is a better tool for managing personal finance than mint (IMO). SOme tips really got me thinking.

  4. KYD says:

    Ohh that Great Chris:) No one likes to fall in debt either..

    And Thanks SB..

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