Weather it is credit cards, bills payments, loans or insurances, it is still costing you money. And thinking of how to pay them is causing you additional stress.
Here’s the thing: once you make paying off debt a priority, it can be easier than you think. The key factor is persistence. And with the right plan of action, you will see the unimaginable results in no time.
So what are you waiting for? Here are some tips to become debt free.
10 Tips to become Debt-free
1. LIST YOUR DEBTS BY INTEREST RATE
One of the big key to getting away with debt is knowing where you are. Gather all your bills and list your debts from smallest to largest.
By listing them in order, identify which has the highest interest to the smallest interest rate. Since the one with the highest interest costing you the most money. From here, you can identify the one you want to pay off first.
Once you have the listed out with the interest rate in each, you will know what you up against. Before you start to tackle the highest rate in your debt list.
2. HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND WITH YOU
In reality, emergencies are bound to happen without prior notice. Though no one expects them, we should always prepare for them. But it does not mean that stashing away your emergency savings does not derail your debt payoff plan.
Before you really start to pay off your debts, it is good to start up a small emergency fund of at least P 50,000.00 ($1,000) for any unexpected expenses (medical expenses, etc.). This is a money you can tap into when something unexpected happens. Make sure to build it up again once you have already used the said fund before paying your debts.
3. ALWAYS MAKE MINIMUM PAYMENTS
You should be sure to pay the minimum payments on time for every debt you have. To avoid paying higher interest rates or fees. So if you are paying the highest interest rate cards first be sure to put more money on that card each month. As you continue to make minimum payments on your other debts and move to the next highest interest rate card.
The best way is to stay on top of the monthly credit card payment by going on the card’s closing date. Do not wait for the due payment date to avoid cramming on payments. Closing date states your bill for the month. Any transaction beyond the closing date will be added to next month’s billing.
The balance on the card base on the closing date are the one to be reported to the credit bureaus. If you pay the balance before the date, your statement will show a zero balance. This can avoid not only interest charges or fees but will help your credit score.
4. MAKE A BUDGET AND REMOVE ANY IRRELEVANT ITEMS
Putting up a budget is a great idea to start. The idea of budgeting is simple way of telling your money where you want it to go.
A better way to start is to take a look on your previous statements. You can use Excel spread sheet or applications to help you organize your expenses. You just need to create categories for each expenses to set a limit for that category. Also, it is important to list down your income as basis for budgeting. Be sure that your budget does note exceed your income. Should there be excess, it’s time that you need to cut some of items in your list.
If your not comfortable of using an app or the computer on your budgeting. You may use an old school but effective method. This is the envelope method wherein you keep you budgeted money on an envelope. Up to this day, there are some people who still this kind of method on managing and controlling their expenses.
5. BY LADDERING YOUR DEBTS YOU CAN GAIN MOMENTUM
You can start paying as much as you can each month the card with the highest interest rate. After you have listed down all your debts from highest interest rate to lowest. Once your debt is paid already, you can start paying the second with the highest interest rate and so on.
This will help you the most money over time. And once the debts starts to decrease or disappear from your list, you will be able to gain momentum and get back to your plan.
You will be able to finally see the sun after the rain after you paid off the first debt. And you will feel renewed and accomplished to take the new one.
6. DOWNSIZE FOR SOME TIME
Have a look back on your previous expenses. Determine if there are things you really don’t need or things to spend into like eating out or buying something.
Pay attention to monthly regular subscription services that can add up big in time. Then, you can apply it to as your savings.
Season of paying of debts is not forever. It just a little bit of delayed gratification so that you can enjoy debt-free later on.
7. YOU CAN SELL ANY UNNECESSARY ITEMS
Take a look around your house for something you really don’t need. Or some large items taking up spaces like furniture. They can be sold to pay off your debts and decrease your financial burden.
You can launch garage sale or sell items online. Through this you can earn extra money which you can use to pay off your debts.
8. TRANSFER YOUR BALANCES
A great way to pay down your debt is transferring your balance if you are paying high interest rates. But always be sure to pay your minimum payments. And be sure to you can pay off your balance before the expiration of the introductory interest rates. Or else, you will end up on paying hefty charges and fees.
9. Increase your income
If you think you have found to cut down the expenses. You may consider increasing your income.
You may search for jobs that have higher salary than your present job. But if you find your current job maxing out your earning capacity, you might consider on looking for a second job. It does not have to be forever. This is just for a short period of time until you are capable of paying off your debts.
10. REWARD YOURSELF WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE VICTORY
Paying off your debts does not have to be a chore. Make it fun for your self. Treat it like a game that every milestone you achieve along the way, you get a reward.
Rewarding your self after paying off a debt can help to motivate you to strive harder.
You can do this! When you take a closer look on debt, you see it for what it is. But it is easier to be patient, make sacrifices and feel confident of your ability to pay off debts. In such time, you will recognize you are now enjoying debt-free living. You can do this!