If only staying out of debt was as simple as just paying off your bills, right? So many Americans today are plagued by unavoidable debt that comes at the worst times in their lives. An unexpected medical emergency can put a damp in family expenses, costing you thousands of dollars that you don’t have. Luckily, in this article we have some tips for you to help you stay out of debt.
1. Monitor Your Spending Habits
In order to know how to get yourself out of debt, you must first learn how you got there in the first place. Do you know exactly where your money goes each month? The easiest way to find out is to write down every time you spend money.Even if you spend $1.00 at the gas station for a soda, write it down. That way at the end of the month you can review what you have spent for the month and from there you can make the necessary cuts you need to save money. Non-necessity items should be cut out until you have got your debt paid off.
2. Plan a Budget For Each Month
Once you know how much you are spending per month, check and see where your money is going. You need to make every dollar count and necessities should come out first. Your rent or mortgage payment, utility bills, and groceries for your house should be the first things every month that you should pay. These bills tend to be pretty fixed for each month which makes it easy to budget for them. If you are really serious about paying off all your debt then you should cut out fast food and restaurants from your budget all together. This will help you save more money than you think per month. Plan out your meals and try to stay away from buying junk food at the grocery store.
3. Tackle Your Debt
The simplest way to pay down your debt is to look at everything you owe, make the bare minimum payments on all the bills except for the smallest one, take the smallest bill you have and throw all the extra money that you have saved per month by cutting corners until it is completely paid off. When that one is finally paid off you can then take the next smallest bill in line and start attacking it using all the money from the
newly paid off first debt. Continue this process until all of your debt is paid off.
4. Try To Get A Lower Interest Rate
Not very many credit card companies are willing to work with their customers but it never hurts to ask, all they can do is say no. If you have a lot of credit card debt call the credit card company and see if you can get a lower interest rate. If not, try looking for a new card or loan with a lower interest rate and try to get that instead and then transfer the balance of the other card to the new one. Keep in mind that there will be a balance transfer fee, make sure it is lower than the interest rate you are currently paying. Once you have transferred the balance onto the new card, cancel and cut up the old card so you don’t use it again.
5. Pick Up a Part Time Job For Extra Income
Now that you have fully committed to getting yourself out of debt by monitoring your spending, planning your budget, and cutting out all extra expenses per month, there is always more that can be done. Try to find additional ways to bring in extra money per month to throw at your debt to get it paid down faster. There are so many ways today to make extra money from home on your computer. People pay for you to write
blog posts for them. Another thing to help you pay down your debt is if you got a raise this year, continue living off of the budget you made before the raise. Same thing with bonuses, throw all that extra money at your debt to get it paid down sooner. The quicker you get it paid down, the better you will feel because it won’t be hanging over your head anymore. Always keep in mind, you will have unexpected expenses that pop up during this time.That is just something you can’t avoid. It takes time to pay off back debt, its not something that can be done overnight but by keeping your end goal of being debt free on your mind it will make this process so much easier.
If you’ go wild for awesome money tips like this, then why not check out our other post on investing into affordable housing?