Decluttering your finances can be hard, but absolutely essential if you’re to break out of debt and give yourself a path to freedom.
Make a list
Draw up a list of all your creditors and your debt amount so that you don’t underestimate how much you owe.
Budget, budget, budget!
Ensure that a percentage of your paycheck is automatically deposited into your savings account on payday. Planning a weekly or monthly budget will help you live within your means and keep your spending in order. Take into consideration essentials such as household expenses and travel and set aside a small amount for emergencies. Put any amount left over toward your debts.
Do you really need the latte from Starbucks every morning? Make a grocery list and stick to it whilst shopping. Scoop up after-dinner leftovers and brown bag lunch to work. It’s far cheaper than eating a take-out meal or going out with colleagues.
Selling your car or moving into a smaller home will free up extra money and help you pay off your debts quicker. You may also want to look at moving to a cheaper part of town, as long as it doesn’t increase your commuting costs.
Throw away the plastic
Keep one credit card for emergencies and cut the others. It’s very easy to spend on credit, so taking away these cards will stop you from running up new debt.
Can you ask for a pay rise or think of ways to make some extra money? Find out what skills or new job opportunities could lead you to a higher salary. Consider renting out a room, selling old furniture or getting a second job.
Combining your loans with other debts, such as a credit card, can lower the interest rate and the amount of interest you’re paying.
Pay off your smallest debt first
Paying off your smallest debt and paying the minimum repayment on your other debts can give you the motivation you need to keep going. Once you’ve paid off one debt, you’ll be more inspired!
Paying down debt is a marathon, not a 100-metre race, so get ready to commit to the rocky road ahead. It won’t be easy, but the payoff will be really worth it.
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