Paid Off Your Car Or Credit Card? Keep Paying!

Twice in the last month someone shared with me that they had paid off their credit card or car loan. Both times, I had given them some feedback a year or two earlier and now they were sharing their victory!

Great…but: Here was my next challenge to them. It’s explained in the Money Tools book, but it’s not hard to understand the logic.

When you’re done paying something off, you now have a freed-up $300, $400 or whatever you had been paying each month. But what will happen with that “extra” money? It’ll be gone! Take your had out of a bucket of water and then measure the hole that’s left. Exactly…the “free” money will go to something, everything or whatever the next month if you don’t have a plan.

And the plan is super easy: Keep making the same exact payment for another year! You were disciplined enough to pay off the credit card, car or whatever – so stick with it another year. Nothing to re-budget, nothing to force yourself to do – just carry on!

But now you’re paying yourself. Transfer the money to a savings account the same day your bill was due, the same amount, the same routine. If it was for a car, a year from now you’ll have four five or six thousand saved for a newer (never new…please!) one. If it was a credit card, you’ve got two three or four thousand towards retirement savings or another card or bill.

It’s magic and it’s super easy. But it takes knowing this trick and something few people still have: The will to take delayed gratification!

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