It may feel like an endless cycle of pain, but there are things you can do to get rid of debt and get out of the carousel.
There is nothing worse than feeling in debt. It is a painful experience that often seems to have no end.
But there is a solution. It’s never quick and easy, but you are can quit debt and free yourself.
Don’t take debt as a way of life, take control of your money and secure your financial future.
These six steps of a debt diet will get your finances in shape. Instead of giving up carbs, I want you to turn off the credit. Instead of getting rid of pounds, you will get rid of unwanted debts. Your budget is your curriculum, stick to it and you will be on your way to a whole new self.
Step 1: Face reality
Many people ignore their debt problems until it is too late. The sooner you act, the sooner you will be able to get rid of debt and the better off you will be. Here’s a quick quiz. You:
- Spend more than you earn every month and regularly plunge into savings?
- Do you put off your daily expenses on credit because you have no money?
- Can you afford only the minimum payment on your monthly credit card bill?
- Not prepared for unexpected expenses emerging as home and car repairs?
- Receive legal notices by mail?
- Do you take threatening phone calls in pursuit of payment?
- Persistent relationship instability, such as marriage or rupture of relations?
- Adopting bad lifestyle habits such as frequent drinking, smoking or gambling?
Be honest. These are all said signs financial difficulties and a warning that you must act now to address this. The worst thing you can do is ignore debt problems until it’s too late, hoping things will get better and your creditors won’t notice. They notice.
Step 2: Ask for help
If you are in trouble, talk about it. Credit card companies and financial institutions will be much more lenient if they know you are trying to solve this problem.
Talk to them about the payment program to help you manage your duty. Ask if you can reduce or defer some repayments, or pay less interest until you get on the right track.
Step 3: Control your expenses
Over the next month, write down everything you spend and then find out where your money is going. You’ll be surprised and maybe a little horrified at what you’re really spending your money on, but I bet you’ll think twice in the future.
Start living within your means so as not to get into debt. From now on, use cash for daily expenses, for example productsclothes and entertainment so you only spend what you have. Resist impulsive buying and stock up on big purchases.
If you are going to fight the temptation of credit, get rid of it. Replace your credit card with a debit credit card. It allows you to buy things online or over the phone like a regular credit card, but only uses your own money … so you can’t get into debt.
Step 4: Stick to a budget
Balance your family budget and develop a debt reduction plan. The quickest way to repay debt is to make additional payments. Look at your budget and work out the maximum you can afford to pay off your debts each month.
Each payment period, set aside money to cover basic expenses such as food, transportation, utilities, rent or mortgage payments. Also contribute to an emergency account to cover any unexpected bills. Use all the cash left to pay off debts such as credit card bills.
If you don’t make much of an impact on total debt, you should do so increase your income. Get a second or third job in the evening or on the weekend until your debts are cleared. Make sure all the extra money you earn goes to their payout.
Step 5: Avoid the pitfalls of minimum payments
A monthly credit card bill looks awful, but then you are comforted by a much smaller minimum balance. Big mistake.
It will take years when you make only minimal payments to eliminate debt. Your credit card provider charges you interest on the rest of the account, adding to the total debt.
To succeed, you really need to pay more than the minimum payment. Every month.
Step 6: First agree to the most expensive debt
It’s common sense, but pay off debt with help the first highest interest rate. Credit cards charge up to 20 percent, so start by focusing on that debt. Then look at personal loans that will cost at least 10 percent interest and so on, down to your smallest debt.
Don’t even think about saving either investing until you pay off your bad debts. There is no point in playing the stock market or investing in a managed fund if you are charged 20 percent interest on your credit card debt.
Your home loan is probably the cheapest debt. Loans to buy a house or investing in quality stocks or property is usually considered a good debt, and not a big concern.
If you have debt, you should have no savings – just your emergency fund. All of this should go into credit cards or loans instead.
Think about it logically. Why save money one percent (at best) if you pay 3-20 + percent on home loans and outstanding credit card balances? First throw out the debt and then you can start saving and investing to create a buffer against future debts.