July 6, 2021 • Newsletter
This Month’s Money Message: Manage
Merriam-Webster defines manage as “to handle or direct with a degree of skill.” I love that there is an active part of that definition: Handling, directing. It implies action, rather than passive indifference. I also love that the definition acknowledges necessary skills needed to execute a task. To manage something is to take skill-based action regarding it. Not just any action. Skill-based action.
But there is an additional definition of manage I also love: “to succeed in accomplishing.” I like the success and optimism this definition includes. So perhaps to manage something is to take skill-based action toward a personal goal.
Skills, action, and goals all contribute to the idea of managing something, whatever it is. And frankly, each one is crucial. Merriam-Webster says so.
This month, we are talking about managing debt. We’re halfway through 2021, making it a perfect time to check in with those lingering debt balances. (Plus, if you are someone whose student loans are in forbearance, you have about three more months before payments restart. Let’s start thinking about that now.)
We will get clarity around our own debt goals, whether we want to eliminate debt completely, reduce it, or better understand its impact on our lives. We’ll also build skills around debt management. What steps do you need to take to achieve your goals? Those steps aren’t always clear, but you have the skills to start listing them. And we can help. Debt is complicated. It involves compounding interest, long-term time horizons, and deep personal feelings around the subject.
Hardest of all is the action: The actual doing of the thing. The taking of the step. The adding up of the amounts. The checking of the credit score. The paying of the debt.
But you can do this. You can manage your debt. You can take skill-based action to achieve your goal. Here are some things to know, do, and believe as you do just that:
Know: The total amount you owe, including the interest rate and the term for each debt balance.
Give yourself plenty of time to gather this information. It may not be clear, and you may have to dust off a handful of different logins to track down this information. That’s okay. Know the information first.
Do: Decide what you are able to pay each month.
This is a tricky one. The amount you can pay each month toward your debt depends on your own debt goals, but it also depends on your other expenses and your income. But decide on the number for yourself.
Believe: You are capable of asserting control over your debt.
It may make sense to explore some of your beliefs around debt here… It can be powerful, but you are more powerful.
What We’re Doing
Want to hear Elaine talk about debt? She did that last month with a small group from Sundance, and she’s doing it this month with a larger group from the Dramatist Guild.
What We’re Talking About
We’d also love to help you manage your own debt situation. If that sounds like a conversation you’d like to have, grab a slot on the calendar below. Fair warning: These slots are full (ish) for the next few months, but that gives you plenty of time to pull your numbers together.
Creative Coaching (1 hour, $110)
If you’d like to chat with me to answer your own questions, feel free to find a time that works with your schedule.
Whether you manage to start thinking about debt this month (Congrats!) or manage the debt situation at hand (Amazing!), we’re with you. You’ve got this.
Until next month…