Getting out of debt is not easy, but anyone with a steady income can rearrange their finances to get their debt out of control. It takes discipline and patience to get rid of debt, but the benefits of being debt-free make the process well worth it. Be prepared to contact financial professionals and scour the Internet for the resources you will need as you work to get out of debt in 10 steps or less.
1. Lower Your Credit Card Debt
The easiest way to lower your credit card debt is to re-evaluate your credit cards and start retiring some of them. Do you really need that department store card that you have not used in years? Probably not, but you still have a balance on it and that balance is dragging your finances down.
You can hire a professional debt consultant who can help you to do a couple of things to get your debt reduction program started. Your consultant can call your creditors and simply ask for lower interest rates on your cards. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but you never know until you try.
The next thing a consultant can do is take the cards you never use anymore or never want to use again, consolidate them together, and then help you to find a way to pay those balances off. In most cases, a consolidation loan will lower those combined monthly payments and help you pay that debt off in less than five years.
2. Make A Budget
Developing a personal budget is not nearly as intimidating as it sounds because there are plenty of resources online to help you. You can find spreadsheets and budgeting advice online that you can use to create a balance between your monthly expenses and your income. When you see your bills and your paychecks written down side-by-side, it becomes much easier to plan your spending and preserve your money.
3. Cut The Waste
When you start using online resources to create a budget, most will recommend that you track your spending for one month to develop budget numbers for things like food and entertainment. This is your golden opportunity to cut out expenses that are costing you money each month and putting you deeper into debt.
As you track your expenses, you can see how much that $5 cup of coffee that you have each day on the way to work adds up to every month. You can also see how much buying your lunch from a restaurant each day costs you. By doing some proper budgeting, you will be shocked at how much money you will save by bringing your own coffee and bagging a lunch. Do you also need a landline phone and a smartphone? Cut out one of them and watch your debt drop even further.
4. Focus In On Your Debt
Now that you have created a budget and cut out spending waste, you can see just how much money you have each month to address your debt. That consolidation loan is saving you a couple of hundred dollars a month that can also be put towards paying off your debt and living debt-free.
Start budgeting your extra money to go towards paying down your credit cards that have not been consolidated and paying off that consolidation loan early. You can also start applying a little extra cash each month to your care loan to have that paid off quicker as well. As you start applying extra money to your debt areas, you will see your debt shrink and your available money each month increase.
5. Start Living On Cash
Once you have everything under control, it is time to start saying goodbye to your credit cards and start living on cash. If your cable company takes your monthly payment from your credit card through your online account, then get a debit card from your bank and replace the credit card so that you are paying your bill in cash every month. Stop using credit and start using cash to really put a dent in your debt.
6. Start A Savings Account
Take a percentage of your pay each month and put it into a savings account to collect interest and be there when you need it. After a few months of savings, you will be able to pay for that new transmission in cash and avoid running up more of your credit card bills.
Being debt-free is not easy, but it is worth it. When you start making better decisions with your money, you will start to feel the relief that comes from knowing that financial disaster is no longer around the corner.