Debt is something that happens to almost everyone. At some point in life, whether it be student loans, medical bills, or just getting behind, most people find themselves in some sort of debt.
Whether it’s something you can rise above in a month or a devastating event in your life that leaves you struggling for years, you can use some simple tactics to help yourself get out of debt, tackle debt, and to help prevent getting into debt in the future.
How to Tackle Debt
Use Online Bill Pay
Most banks and financial institutions offer you the ability to set up online bill pay. This is a great service that can help you keep track of your finances and ensure that you’ll get all of your bills paid on time.
Essentially, you just choose the companies to which you want to send money, denote how much money per month you want to send it and on which day, and set it. Forgetting to pay your bill is a thing of the past; your bank account will automatically run the bill for you.
Prioritize Your Spending
If you’re struggling with debt, it might be beneficial to live like a minimalist for awhile. Do you need to go to the fast food restaurant each morning for breakfast? How often are you eating out for lunch at work? Look for areas where you can cut expenses for awhile, and scale back on frivolous expenditures.
When you tackle debt, every single dollar counts. It might seem like no big deal to save five dollars a day by taking your lunch, but that can easily amount to a savings of over $100 a month. Look at your savings from a monthly or yearly perspective, and you’ll start to see things in a different light and realize that every savings is a good savings.
A lot of people don’t like to share with others that they’re in debt. But, being in debt is nothing to be shamed of. Instead, find a trusted friend in whom you can confide, and ask them to help keep you accountable for your spending. Check in with them regarding your spending for the week, and see if they can offer you some suggestions from an objective point of view.
Tackle the Worst First
The financial experts at mint.com suggest that you tackle the worst debt you have first. By getting the biggest chunk of debt out of the way fastest, you save a lot of money in interest. Not only that, but by getting the most oppressive debt off your back first, you will be less stressed and be able to get your life back to normal sooner. You can tackle debt.
Don’t Take On New Debt
Barclay’s Money Skills suggests that the number one way to help yourself tackle debt is to avoid taking on any new debt. A lot of times, people who are dealing with large amounts of debt fall into the trap of opening a new credit line to pay off old debt. This is not only a dangerous thing to do but won’t help you get out of debt any faster. In fact, it can ruin your credit score.
Whatever you do, don’t panic. There are many resources available for those who are struggling to pay off debt, and several programs in which you can enroll to help you manage expenses and avoid future debt.
Scale back on expenses, find ways to help yourself stick to your budget, and always pay bills on time to avoid further damage to your credit score. Being proactive can save you time, money, and stress, and can help you emerge from your debt sooner.
Do you know how to tackle debt? What’s worked best for you?