Now it's time to reduce the stress in your life.
Buzz words such as keep it simple, don't worry, be happy, are worthwhile. But nothing in your travels down the path of removing debt will ever be as beneficial as: ta..da....
THE PRUDENT RESERVE !
You've come pretty far already, if only from reading these chapters. But the next best thing you can do for yourself is to get rid of the worry. And you do that by starting a prudent reserve. This is for the times in your life when stuff happens you hadn't counted on. The roof needs repairs. The dog has to have surgery. A child breaks a leg. The car has a boo-boo. Then the fridge, the water main, the air conditioner. Any number of things that you had not counted on can greet you on a seemingly perfect day. This is not the time to disaster plan, but to go to your prudent reserve and take the money out and use it for those emergencies.
Now you can exhale.
"But, how do I create a prudent reserve when I can barely afford food?"
That, dear reader, is simply by setting aside once a week (or monthly if you prefer) a small amount of money. If you don't have $5 a week to set aside, set aside $2. If you don't have that, put away $1.00. The point is to start and then keep putting it into your account as a side dish. Deduct this amount from your balance, and put it on the left side of your check register marking it PR. That's when something magical happens - my version is the Universe sees you really mean business and wants to help you. But there's some truth to the adage that money makes money. By the end of six months adding $10 per week, you now have $240. This is not money to be used for anything but emergencies. It can be well more than the $10 I suggest, just make sure it fits into your monthly spending account.
That's it. The best kept secret I wished I'd known about 40 years ago.
"You can't get sick enough to help sick people get better. You cannot get poor enough to help poor people thrive. It's only in your thriving that you have anything to offer anyone." Abraham -Hicks