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Pay off debt is a situation for most working people these days. Living costs have risen, wages have stagnated in many industries and using credit to help meet monthly expenses is something many people do on a regular basis.
For busy working families, this may not be a realistic option but for those with spare time, a second job can work wonders for dealing with debt. From taxi driving to online stores, there are all kinds of ways to make additional money. This approach is only successful if you resist the temptation to use everything you earn for treats and little extras. Though you probably want to give yourself a little reward, try to be disciplined and make sure that most of your money goes directly into debt payments.
High-interest debt isn’t always a bad thing. For the short term, essential purchases that you know can pay for in the coming weeks or months, it can be a useful option. As a long-term option, high-interest debt is not a good idea as it can spiral out of control. Take advantage of balance transfers and offers from banks and approved lenders. 0% and low-interest rates are often available and can make a significant difference in how quickly you pay off what you owe. When you make a payment to an account that has 0% interest, everything you transfer will reduce the total amount you owe. Higher interest rates can mean that even large monthly payments don’t make much of dent to the overall debt.
Not using your credit card when you are already in debt is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your financial situation. It sounds simple but this can be very difficult for some people, especially those who are on a low income. With careful budgeting and planning, it is possible to avoid or at the very least, drastically reduce the amount of money you spend on a credit card, though. Try to be brutally honest with yourself and make realistic changes. If it isn’t essential and you don’t already have the money to buy it, the chances are, you can live without it.
Almost every house has all kinds of unused items just lying around, gathering dust. Old TVs that aren’t used anymore, garden furniture that stays in the shed all year round or unused musical instruments can all generate a little bit of extra money. You may not get a great deal but look around the house and be honest about the things you could rid of. Even a small amount of extra cash for something you never use can make a real difference to how much you can afford to pay towards your debt in any given month.
Take Outs, expensive coffee, sandwiches and impulse purchases all add up. If you make a note of how much you spend on this kind of food each week, you might be surprised at the result. Preparing food at home and planning your meals can save you enough money to pay a lot more towards your outstanding debt. Though you can still budget for special occasions, eating out every day is generally too expensive for those who need to pay off large amounts of credit card debt, so a more realistic approach is often helpful.
When you’re trying to pay off debt, budgeting can seem impossible but there are several ways you can do this. Making a simple spreadsheet or even downloading one can help you to divide up your essential monthly outgoings. The hardest part about budgeting is sticking to what you have planned. Try to be realistic when you’re allocating amounts for food, household items, and recreation. It is important to pay off debt, but you also need to be able to live without jeopardizing your health and wellbeing. A good way to do this is to factor in a reward for staying within your allocated budget. That way, you still get to enjoy a little bit of what you love while still improving your financial situation.
High-interest rates that can’t be reduced need to be tackled first. Pay as much as you possibly can to cards like this, then get rid of them. It might feel like an uphill struggle at first but after a few substantial payments, you will notice a real difference. Ideally, you need to be paying more than just the interest on this kind of debt, otherwise, it won’t get any smaller.
Very few people take notice of how much they spend in any detail. It takes practice but keeping a record of everything you spend money on will allow you to analyze your spending habits and work out where you can make changes. Small adjustments add up and opting for unbranded items at the supermarket or choosing to drink water from your tap, rather than buying it from the shop can save you hundreds over the course of a year. The key is to make debt your priority until its paid off. Only spend what you can afford and think positive about the future. Any sacrifices you make now will feel more than worthwhile when you check your statement and see that you’re finally back in the black. Balance is key and though you will still need to factor in little treats to make life a little easier, you will also need to be strict and disciplined with yourself.