If you are struggling to get out of debt, you are not alone. Around the world, millions are living paycheck to paycheck, short of money for necessities and bills. It is easy to fall into this rut. You make your minimum payments, the bills just keep piling up, and soon you are knee-deep in debt, with no way out.
Here are some tips to aid getting out of debt quickly. Check your finances. There are always ways to trim some expenses and make other money to put towards your debt, right? One less monthly bill to worry about, right?
– Budgeting is the first remedy. It is important to know how much debt you have before you start budgeting, otherwise you will just be guessing, which is never a good idea. Get a complete picture of your income and expenses. Is there too much debt, too little or the right amount? Create a plan and stick to it.
– Get a copy of your credit score. Once you know your score, find out what your current debt ratio is. This number tells you how much debt you are trying to pay off on a monthly basis. This number is calculated based on how much you earn, so if you earn more than enough money to repay your debts, you are doing quite well!
– Do not open new credit cards or get new credit cards to pay off your debts. If you have too many accounts open, you are spending more money than you earn. This is just spreading your debt around and making it harder to pay them off. It’s better to close some of the smaller credit cards and move to one with a lower minimum payment and a fixed interest rate. If you have any money left over after this, put it in a savings account or give away to someone who needs it.
– Find a second job. You can probably take care of your basic living expenses by getting another job, but earning enough money to comfortably pay off all of your debt means that you will no longer have to rely on your government or other non-profit organizations for financial assistance. A second job might also allow you to stop spending excessively on things you don’t need and could live without. If you have children, a second job may mean that you have time to teach them about fiscal responsibility. Or, it may allow you to earn enough money to afford a debt-free lifestyle.
– If you have a high-paying job, use part of your salary to pay down your total debt and keep your total debt ratio down. This ratio is the total amount of money you owe divided by your annual income. If you spend more than you earn, you are going to build up a lot of interest on your credit card, which means that you are going to have to pay more in the form of interest payments over time until you finally pay off most of your debt.
– Build an emergency fund. If you have some extra income, you might not need to use it all on the things that are important to you. But if there is not enough money to meet your basic living expenses, then you’ll have to prioritize. One of the easiest ways to do this is to set aside money in an emergency fund. Each month, you simply spend less money from your emergency fund than what you would on your basic living expenses. This will prevent you from having to rely on credit cards, loans, or other sources of emergency funds, which means that you won’t build up as much debt.