If you read my previous blog about starting my home interiors business, you would know that I had spent two months in India setting everything up, from sourcing products to creating my branding, marketing materials and purchasing my stand decorations for the Ideal Home Show. Now all this cost me a fair amount of money. I didn’t have the patience to save up before starting out so I racked up all these bills on my credit cards. Not a smart thing to do at all, but it was the only option I had available at the time.

As soon as the credit card bills came through the door, I began to feel overwhelmed because I realised I was in a lot of debt and didn’t have enough income to meet even my minimum payments because my business was still new.

The first thing I did was get a job. It was really hard to make that decision because I thought my business would support me, but I knew I had to pay off my debts. I got a job, but I was still stuck on how to pay off all these cards and if I ever would! In my panic, I researched getting rid of debt on the internet and came across a book that became my saving grace. It was written by an American Christian man, but it had some fantastic strategies in it, and I just took what I needed and left out the religious stuff!

The first thing I did was create a plan for paying off my cards by the end of the year. That gave me 8 months and it was good to create a realistic deadline, as opposed to just a month ahead which would never happen!

I got a piece of paper and wrote down every card on which I had a balance. I included the name of the card, the total amount I owed, the minimum payment and then how much I could contribute to each one on a monthly basis. I created a table whereby every month I could tick off what I paid and then enter the new balance owed, so it made it more fun and I felt like I was making progress.

But, when I looked at the numbers, it didn’t seem realistic that I would pay everything off by the end of the year, but nevertheless, I stuck to my plan and kept making payments. As the months passed, I was paying off cards and cutting them up and it felt great! I didn’t think that making a small contribution on a regular basis would make such a huge difference.

Now, here’s where the magical part of this story comes in. A month before the end of the year I reviewed my debt situation and still had a certain sum remaining that I just couldn’t have paid off in that last month. After seeing that, I just decided to relax and extend my deadline because I was on track to clearing it anyway and it was only a matter of time so if it took a few months longer, so what? Well two weeks before the end of the year I got a call from HR at work telling me that my previous month’s pay had fallen short. And when they paid the shortfall into my account along with my salary just before Christmas, the amount I could put towards my debt matched the outstanding balance to the penny! It really was a miracle!

That’s the power of starting, of taking that first step. You don’t need to know the whole path. Just take the first step.