Debt is a stressful aspect in your life. Especially when you are trying to buy a home, car, business, or credit card. But you can change all that by learning how to get out of debt. To start getting out of debt, you just need to take action right now! If you want to eliminate debt, making the minimum payment because you don’t know where to start is one of the worst things you can do. If you have amount of debt or have many sources of debt, creating a plan to pay it off is a huge step to living debt free Budget List 101.
By first telling yourself that you are tired of being denied credit, loans, and products will motivate to get out of debt and achieve your dreams.
1. Learn what you have on your credit report.
2. Create a plan of action to get yourself out of debt
3. Implement and monitor your plan. So, let’s get started. First off let me tell you being in debt is horrible because you are a “slave to the lender” they own you until its clear and that can be for years.
So, let’s create a plan together to help you implement and monitor your plan.
1) Evaluate your debt: Get your free credit report here. Your credit report will list all of your debts obligations from companies that report to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Not everyone you owe will be on your credit report so pull out your bank statements to and I have a Budget List 101, I want you to use to write down who you owe, the amount you owe, the minimum payment for each debt obligation, the interest rate and your monthly due dates.
2) Set a goal with a deadline for when you want to be debt free: After you finish on the worksheet set a date for each lender when you are going to pay them off. This will make the goal an actual goal and not a wish. Having a long-term goal is what successful people do every aspect of their life and this will show you where you’re is heading in your journey of a debt-free life.
3) Decide which method you want to pay off your debt first: It can be your student loan, a high-interest rate on a credit card, house, car or you can be the smallest debt first to repay. It’s up to you, do whichever makes you feel better. One method you can use pay off your debts is to start with the smallest balance first using the Snowball Method: Using this method, you pay off debts from smallest balance to largest balance regardless of interest rate. When you have a ton of debt statements coming in every month and are having a hard time keeping track of all your little debts, it can be overwhelming. Using this method is supposed to relieve some of that stress. It may seem like no matter where you turn you owe money and this can seem daunting. By paying your smallest balances first you can get rid of a bunch of your little debts very quickly. There are other methods out there you can look into so you can have a clear understanding and way on how to move forward on paying off your debt.
4) Do not pay the minimum payment on your debt except the debt you’re paying off first: Paying the minimum payment on all debt will get you nowhere but higher interest and a higher balance with that company. Let the lenders know you are trying to pay them back by paying a little more than the minimum balance.
5) Automate your payments: If you can outsource your payments this will help you stay on task because you won’t have the money on hand to spend it on the wrong things besides paying off your debt. Successful people outsource tasks to other people, so they can focus on another task that is important and provides value to their life. This can help them grow their wealth significantly faster than a person who never outsources or does very little of it. If you can outsource some activities to free up your time to do more beneficial tasks. So, if you can automate your bills or get a virtual assistant to handle mundane tasks for you then it will benefit you in the long run.
6) Write you out a budget: A budget helps you understand what you have on you to start and what you should be left with. This is very important when you are trying to get out of debt. Grab these budget spreadsheets to get started. Successful entrepreneurs and business professional all work with a budget whether it’s in their personal life or in business. Tracking your money and knowing where it is going can help you see where you’re wasting money and what spending habits need to be changed.
The first thing to figure out is your discretionary income. This is the income that is left over after you pay necessary expenses such as food, transportation, housing expenses, gas, repair, daycare etc. You use discretionary income to establish an emergency fund, debt payment plan, or use it to fund other saving goals. If the most important financial factor in your life is paying off your debt, then you can use all of your discretionary income. But if you are wanting to also fund an emergency fund at the same time, then you can choose to have 80% of your discretionary income go towards debt and the other 20% towards savings.
Total all of your income which includes things like the salary from your job, alimony, child support, guaranteed bonuses and other income sources. Then subtract this amount from your monthly expenses. Your monthly expenses will include things like your monthly rent payment, phone bill, groceries, and clothing purchases. The amount you have left over after you subtract your income from expenses is what you can use to pay down debt (or build your savings). Use the Budget List 101 template below to create a simple working budget.
7) Cut expenses: I am pretty much saying don’t live lavish, live within your means. Cutting expenses will help you get out of debt quicker and faster. So, stay out of the malls, shopping sites online, or anything that will tempt you of spending money you need to save. You don’t need that Starbucks coffee, the fast food, or the alcohol. Stay home and cook dinner, make your lunch and coffee for work, car pool.
“A No Spend challenge can be a great way to kick off a big savings goal or help pay off the last of a lingering debt. Even more though, when you stop spending for a period of time you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your spending habits.
Completing a No Spend challenge can:
- Break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.
- It can break addictions.
- It can build healthier emotional habits.
The result of a No Spend Challenge can be as simple as finding hobbies that don’t involve buying things or interests that are less expensive. Or it can be more complex.” by Jen Smith of Saving with Spunk
8) They wear the same outfits: Wealthy self-conscious people are aware of the cost of shopping for outfits. Being smart with their spending, they can keep their wealth and they usually spend their money on other areas in their life and business.
“Former President Barack Obama once said, you’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
This will help you save money in the long run. Having the new pair of shoes that just came out is not important or the purse, hair, nails, etc… Restrain yourself from buying to many outs until you get out of debt and into a workable budget for you.
9) They have more than one source of Income: A lot of wealthy people have many sources of income. To earn more money. Find ways to make more money so you can get out of debt even faster. You can get a second job or find a hustle.
10) Avoid getting into any more debt: While you’re getting out of debt it’s important that you don’t get into more debt. Start using an envelope system where you will put a certain amount of money for the week or the month for yourself and nothing more after that if you spent all your money.
Get out there and start implementing your budget and lists of debts. It’s never enough to just put your plan into action. You have to also come back to your debt payoff plan regularly. It can take years to pay off bigger debts, so making sure your plan changes with your circumstances is important. So, don’t think it will be fast and easy because you did not get all this debt fast and easy so don’t think clearing it off will be it either. If your income changes, your budget needs to be updated as well. Make sure to revisit your plan as you continue to make payments. You also have to make sure to make necessary changes as your financial situation changes as well.
Don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes or get discouraged if you run into setbacks. The most important thing to remember is to pick yourself up and continue with your plan as soon as you can. Throughout this process, you should develop positive financial habits by completing financial steps consistently. Debt can be overwhelming, but having a plan can really relieve some stress and give you hope. Today, take the first step in tackling your debt and create a plan to live debt free.
How have you started paying off debt?