If you are willing to make the required sacrifice that goes with that, the decision to get yourself out of debt is a life change.
You will learn how to get out of debt, and how to prevent the mistakes that might ruin the whole thing.
Moving out of debt means more than simply paying out a few credit cards. It means changing spending habits; learning how to budget; knowing who and how much you owe; prioritizing debts; creating funds for emergencies and retirement; and knowing where to find help when you get off track.
In other words, there are a lot of decisions that need to be taken and you can make some mistakes along the way-if not likely. Here are some that you can stop that will make debt relief easier.
1. Mistake: Same old spending habits
People are habit-forming creatures and spending money is no exception. We are shopping in the same stores, dining in the same restaurants and driving the same car, because it is convenient. It also costs more than you can comfortably handle. Remedy: If you are not going to change your spending habits, you are never going to get out of debt. Begin with your morning habits (at home, have your coffee and breakfast). Go with a brown bag for lunch, not a wallet. Watch games or movies on TV in the evening, while enjoying a quick meal at home. You’ll see your daily spending habits instantly affecting. You don’t need to do without them. What you do, you just have to make better choices.
2. Mistake: Trying to dig out of debt alone
People are reluctant to ask for help from relatives or friends to manage debt. Remedy: Call a non-profit credit advice agency and get free expert help. Credit counselors are qualified by national organizations such as the National Credit Counseling Foundation and are accredited. You will suggest solutions for debt relief such as debt management services, loan restructuring, debt arbitration, or bankruptcy if things are far beyond the bottom. You are advised by credit counselors to create budgets and recommend a solution you can take or leave. And, that is okay! Use this to advantage.
3. Mistake: Signing up for a debt-relief program, but not understanding what is expected.
It’s difficult to get a quick fix to debt issues. If that is one of the promises you’re referring to, start looking elsewhere. Remedy: The first thing to understand is that debt relief programs typically take 3-5 years to complete so be cautious. Second, check out whichever company you choose for debt relief. The Better Business Bureau or the office of a local state prosecutor are good places to start. Reliable sources of advice should be the credit unions, colleges, and military bases. See for sure that whatever company you want is accredited and has no record of consumer complaints.
4. Mistake: Not creating a practical budget.
Gaining control of your finance is challenging, if not impossible, unless you have a budget. People think this is too much effort… until they get $25,000 in credit card debt and wonder how it happened in the world! Remedy: Create a realistic budget that meets financial needs such as housing, food, health care, insurance and education but still creates space for debt payments. Take the credit cards away and only pay in cash. That could mean reducing (or eliminating) items like eating out, entertainment, shopping for new clothing, vehicles, or appliances, but if you’re serious about getting rid of debt, it’s a great start to work with a budget and pay cash.
5. Mistake: Trying to pay off multiple debts at once.
Consumers with multiple debt sources— credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and so on — often try to address each month. Naughty step! Remedy: go back to your budget, cut spending on everything but important to bare bones, and build a $200 (or preferably $2,000) surplus that goes directly to the highest interest rate credit card. Go after the card with the next highest interest rate when that’s paid off and keep going until all credit card debt is gone.
6. Mistake: Closing accounts when they are paid off.
Remedy: Easy is the solution to this problem: pay off the account but do not close it. The credit scoring systems rely not only on how much money you owe but on how much credit you have at your fingertips. Getting credit at your fingertips but not using it, demonstrates discipline and may increase your ranking.
7. Mistake: You decide to stop contributing to a retirement account.
Although devoting every possible dollar to reducing debt today seems to make sense, it’s a costly mistake in the long run. Remedy: Contribute at least 5 percent-10 percent of your income to investments on retirement as soon as you start working and don’t let debt reduction eat into that. Time is the most effective retirement-saving device. The sooner you begin to contribute to a401(k) or other retirement fund, the better off you will be on retirement. Find other places to downpay credit card accounts in your budget.
8. Mistake: Not setting aside emergency savings.
More than half of American consumers (57 per cent) have not enough cash to cover an unexpected expense of $500 or more, according to surveys. Remedy: Poverty, car accidents or broken pipes can’t be predicted, which is why every home needs an emergency fund. Experts say putting 3-6 months of emergency spending aside. If you’re intent on paying off debt, it might take a while to get there, but again, it has to be part of your monthly budget. Set aside at least 5 percent of your earnings in an emergency fund, at least until you have covered three months of expenses.
9. Mistake: Not verifying your credit report is correct.
Checking for inaccuracies on your credit report is an important step on your path to raising your debt. Remedy: Each of the major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are allowed a free credit report. Divide them up, one in four months. Review them closely for inaccurate delinquencies and/or balance sheets that damage your credit score and could make a difference in your ability to purchase a house or car, or get more credit.
10. Mistake: Not prioritizing your debt.
Everyone has bills and most of them want to get out of their debt, but some people simply can not get a focused one. They don’t see it as a priority. Remedy: Consolidating your debts and making only one payment each month could be the best solution. Another way to get focused would be to take the size of a credit card with a piece of paper and write down the five debts you want to get rid of. Tape your credit card with that piece of paper. Each time you reach for that card, you’ll be told that you’re adding to the problems on that list, not subtracting.
Best Way to Get Out of Debt
Already, you know the measures to escape bankruptcy but on the counter there’s still a stack of bills. What are you going to do?
Here are a couple of measures which should help get out of debt. Many of them are first-cousins to the list of errors to avoid, but to look at the problem from different prospect also helps to produce better solutions.
Check your budget.
There are always places where you can free shave some dollars and create extra cash to pay for the debt? Eating out one less night (a saved $40 at least). Take your lunch to work daily (a total of $40 saved). Watch the home movie or sporting event (a saved $15 minimum). Skip Happy Hour (saved $20)
Bury your credit card.
This is what has trouble for you. Keep one for bonafide emergencies inside your wallet. Pay out in cash for everything else. A $20 bill is a lot harder to hand over than it is a credit card. Impulse buying is almost gone when you pay in cash for everything.
Go shopping with a list.
A shopping mall or grocery store is a dangerous place when all you need is a credit card. Create a list of the things you want. Purchase only what appears on the chart. Come in, get out.
Share the cost.
Roommates cut the cost of it all in half, perhaps more, if they’re really frugal. You spend less on housing, less on food, less on utilities, less on cable and less on transport. The savings created by splitting costs would, in most cases, be sufficient to drastically reduce your debt by themselves.
Take one more look around the house.
Really need a cable TV worth $300 a month? Is it prudent to pay $80-$100 for a round of golf? You can mow the yard and clean your own house? How about a gym membership without exercising? If you’re not in debt, all those things are good to have. Dump them until the last of your credit cards are paid off.
Get some help.
Find a local credit counseling service online and go through one of their free credit counseling sessions if you’re still flummoxed by debt. They help you solve the problem; assist you in setting up an affordable budget; and educate you on which debt relief option is best for you. The counselors are trained and certified so the biggest thing about that is that it’s FREE!
How to Pay Off Debt Faster:
Instead, you might take a few steps to pay off debt quicker, and perhaps still have enough money for an occasional night out or golf round.
Here are some tips that will make the process go quicker once you’re committed to reducing the debt.
Generate more income.
That’s a polite way of saying take up another job. Most people reply: “I have no time!”But have time to visit restaurants, shopping malls, golf courses and fitness centers? Those are taking time and costing money. Use this time to make a profit. Then add it all to your credit card debt withdrawal.
Pay all bills on time.
When you are late in paying monthly bills, you only give away money. To credit card companies, landlords and banks, the late fees are a gold mine. To raise extra money, they don’t need to do any extra work. Don’t give your money away.
Garage sale anyone?
Almost everybody has old TVs, laptops, exercise equipment, furniture and clothing they simply no longer wear. Let’s pay somebody to take your garbage with you.
You may receive tax refund or payment from a property you never expected. Forget a weekend holiday. Spend the money to cut debt.
Ask for a rate reduction.
If you haven’t looked at the interest rates that you are paying, especially on credit cards, look at your statement and find out. If you were a regular on-time payer, your card company would like to keep the business. When they reduce the interest rate to the lowest levels, tell them they should. This is one place where “Ask and you are to receive” really should work.
Ask for a raise.
For a while, businesses have been flush with money but the recent tax cuts will make their bottom lines even larger. Unemployment is at its lowest possible level. The combination means that the time to get a raise may never be better. The worst you can do is get another “No!”