Whether you’re drowning in credit card debt, struggling to pay back a loan, or you’re so far gone that even meeting the most basic of bills is a struggle, DO NOT DESPAIR! It might be tough, but there is always a way to change your situation around and dig yourself out of the unfortunate financial hole you’ve found yourself in. In fact, just by making a few simple changes, you can sort out your finances once and for all. Here’s how to get started:
Start a Budget
It’s always the first piece of advice you’ll be given when you’re dealing with a debt crisis, but that’s because it is the one thing that will help you more than any other. To get started with your own personal budget, list your monthly incomings and outgoings, placing your essential bills (utilities, food, transport) at the top and the lesser expenses towards the bottom, in order of importance. This will very clearly show you where the bulk of your money should be going and which things can be removed from your life so that you can save more money and pay off more debts.
Cut Out the Unnecessary
Once you have a list of all your outgoings in order of priority, it’s time to start cutting. Spending $20 a week on takeout coffees? That’s an easy saving that will give you $20 more to pay off your debts. Spend $50 per month on shoes? Stop buying new ones until your others are worn out, and that’s another $50 towards your debts. Simple!
Consolidate Your Debts
If you have multiple debts, chances are the respective monthly minimum repayments on each add up to more than you can easily afford. The simple solution? Check out the best national debt relief programs and consolidate your debts into one monthly payment that you can more easily manage.
Talk to a Credit Counselor
Whether you’re right at the bottom of the hole or you’re starting to reach daylight, it never hurts to talk to a debt counselor, who can look at your financial situation and help you work out better ways to pay off your debt and improve your financial situation in the future.
Download a Spending Tracker
If you have a smartphone, download one of the many free-spending trackers, log everything you buy and you will soon see where there is, even more, room for improvement. Do this daily and rewrite your budget monthly for the best results.
Once you start to see improvements, and you’re no longer drowning in debt, it is time to think about the future. Obviously, you’ll want to avoid getting into the awful situation of struggling with debt all over again, which means that you need to start saving. Look into the best high-yielding savings accounts (and possibly investments) and jiggle your budget so that you can afford to save at least $30-100 every month. By doing this, you won’t need to rely on debt for emergencies in the future, and you’ll have more financial stability to see you through life.
Have you been in debt? What did you do to keep it under control?