It’s really easy to spend $100. Take a stroll in a mall on a Sunday afternoon and before you know it, you’ve spent $200 in three hours. Where did the money go? Pretty soon, you’re buying things only on credit and can’t afford to pay off your monthly bills. Gradually, debt accumulates.
Then the credit card companies start a-calling. I know. I’ve been there.
Living in debt is a horrible feeling. But it shouldn’t control your life. Instead, take steps to get out of debt – and stay out of it for good.
Here’s what I did to pay off my debt and only spend the money I make:
How To Get Out Of Debt in 6 Easy Steps (And Stay Out Of It For Good)
1. Accept That You Have a Debt Problem
I know, I know. It’s hard. Acknowledging that you have a serious debt problem can be difficult especially if you know you have created that problem. But it needs to be done before figuring out how to get out of debt. It’s the first step towards living a debt-free life.
2. Crunch Numbers
Okay, now that you’ve acknowledged you have a debt problem, it’s time to crunch numbers. You don’t need to be a math whiz or an accountant for this. Just gather all your credit card statements, mortgage payments, car loan payments, outstanding student loan and personal loan payments. Now list all of them down. Then, list down all your sources of income which will include your salary and anything you can sell on eBay.
3. Make Minimum Payments on All Credit Cards
The first step on how to get out of debt is to make minimum payments on all your credit cards. Instead of paying off all the debt on a single card, try to make some payments on each card.
Now it’s time for the really hard part: Set some money aside each month to pay off your debts. It could be $300 or even $500 or more depending on how much you owe.
You need to do this. You can do this.
Once you’ve paid all your credit card bills cut them out and throw them in the trash. If a card is lying around in your purse, you’re bound to use it.
4. Negotiate with Creditors for Lower Interest Rates
Next, contact each credit card provider and negotiate a lower interest rate. Yes, there is a chance they won’t budge. But it’s worth a shot, right?
In fact, you might be surprised at how understanding some lenders might be especially if you’re a long-term customer.
5. Create an Emergency Fund
This step is super important when you’re learning about how to get out of debt. You need to create an emergency fund that will only be used for emergencies and paying off debt when unexpected expenses arise (we’ve all been there). As tempting as it is, don’t use the emergency fund to buy another pair of Jimmy Choo’s.
Try to maintain a minimum balance of $1000 or more depending on how much you can afford to save every month. Trust me, an emergency fund is a life saver!
6. Start Spending on What Really Matters
Ask yourself the hard questions: Do you really need that gold bracelet, that $100 face cream or cable TV when you already use a friend’s Netflix account? Start spending money only on essentials and cut back on things you don’t really need.
Frugal living might seem difficult at first but it liberates you from debt. Only spend on groceries, gas, rent, paying off utility bills and, at the most, a low-cost gym membership (you still need to exercise!). Swap eating out at restaurants for home-cooked meals and Uber rides for a bus pass. Do a little research on coupons, discounts, and affordable deals before buying anything you need.
Small cutbacks can save a lot of money in the long-run.
Living to your bare bones sounds difficult but it can be done. Use the above tips if you’re wondering how to get out of debt and to and gain financial freedom. Debt-free living can be achieved.
Have you recently gotten out of debt? What valuable tips can you share to get out of debt? Do tell!
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- How To Get Out Of Debt in 6 Easy Steps (And Stay Out Of It For Good) - February 9, 2018