Being in debt can feel like you are in a box with no way to get out or to climb a mountain that you can’t see the top. You try chipping away at it only to feel like you are taking one step forward but three steps back. While it’d be good to have an easy solution, if you are genuinely trying to get out of debt it’s going to be hard work.
But with some self-control and a great plan, it is possible. Imagine the freedom you will feel when you no longer owe anyone anything! Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me:
The first step to tackling your debt is to get it all down on paper. You need to see visually how much total you owe. Add your loans, credit cards and anything else that you may owe. This way you can have your goal set before you tackle it. I avoided doing it for the longest time because I was afraid to see the big “YOU OWE” number. The big scary number might be terrifying, but I figured the first step to paying off my (and yours) debt is to make it official!
Once you have it all on paper, start your plan. For each number you owe, get the followinginformation: interest rate, minimum payment, due date.
Which Debts to Tackle First?
For any loans with over 10%, call customer service and ask if you can negotiate reduced rates (it doesn’t hurt to ask). If that’s not an option, go through your junk mail or start paying attention for new incoming mail for promotions from theexisting credit card companies. Can you transfer and consolidate under the reduced rate?
List the amounts with the highest interests first – those are the first debts you need to tackle. Knowing myself I also feel better when I see the progress by decreasing the number of loans, so I will put the loans with the smaller amounts toward the beginning as well. This is the order in which I plan to pay off my Debt.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Now it’s time for work – take a very close at your way of life. When you are trying to pay off a mountain of debt, it is time to reevaluate what you are spending your money on. Add up what you spend on going out to eat, buying new clothes or any other extra spending you have. You will be surprised as to how much money that can go towards paying off debt rather than spending it on “want” items. Cutting back on these types of things will help out considerably. Take a look at your other high monthly costs such as your cable bill and your phone bill. Get to the basics and maybe think about cutting the cord altogether on some of the expenses. Consider switching from Cable to services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon out cable and only watching shows they came stream off of the internet.
Another way to quickly cut your debt is by getting a second job if possible. Finding a side hustle will help make the cutting the debt down quicker. While this may not be an option for some, think hoe motivated you are to pay off your debt. Freelance in your niche if you have a marketable skill. Start a side business such as selling crafts or maybe a dog walking. Sell the things you don’t need: old furniture, baby stuff, whatever else you think might be worth selling. Having some a second income to help chip away at your debt may be worth the sacrifice!