Out of funds and drowning in debt? This is surely a situation that no one wants to be in. Sadly, this financial hardship can hardly be considered an irregular occurrence. The result of a recent survey by the American Psychological Association reveals that money is one of the biggest stressors in America. Moreover, another survey shows that living a debt-ridden life is one of the top money fears for Americans. Theses studies suggest that in order to beat stress, it is important for an individual to have stable finances and stay out of debt.
This is understandable as paying off huge sums of debt, especially if you are barely getting by, can be stressful or even depressing. While it can be a tough situation to be in, it is definitely not a hopeless one. The moment you realize you are in a financial rut, the best thing you can do is immediately think of solutions to get out of it. If you want to say goodbye to your debt and experience financial freedom, try the following money-management strategies.
Come face-to-face with your debts.
Your debt-free strategy should start by looking at how much money you owe and to whom do you owe them. Just like you list out your goals, you can also put into writing the debt you are targeting to pay. If you have more than one credit card, you can write down the outstanding amounts on each card, interest rates and payment terms. This will help you plan strategies on how to pay off each one and give you a clear idea which loans to prioritize. As you religiously make payments, you can update the list to see how your loan balances are getting smaller. This method will allow you to see your progress and motivate you to reach your financial goals.
Cut back on spending.
If you want to get rid of debt, you have to make sure your lifestyle is not increasing your debt balance. You’ve probably heard how important it is to “live below your means”. Especially if you want to be debt free. This means holding off any purchases that aren’t absolutely necessary. Depending on your impulse control, you may have to hide your credit cards to avoid temptation whenever you want something outside your budget. It is important to accept that for the time being you may need to deny yourself some luxuries or comforts. However, by finding ingenious ways to save and reducing your spending, you can get by without feeling deprived.
Try to negotiate.
High interest rates and compound interest are two of the biggest factors in why paying off debt can feel like a burden. The good news is that you can possibly negotiate a lower interest rate with your bank or other financial institutions. With the right negotiation techniques, you can even request your creditors to freeze the interest for a period of time. These moves will significantly lower the amount you have to pay and ease your financial load. The help they can offer and the strategies you will use vary depending on the kind of loan you have. Remember to be sincere and determined as it may help your creditor be more willing to offer ways to make it easier for you.
Find ways to augment income.
One of the worst feelings is realizing your credit card statement is way more than your monthly paycheck. This can be a huge problem because to prevent interest rates from accumulating, your goal should be to pay the total amount on your bill every time. This may mean that you have to look for new ways to earn more. You may need to take on an extra job or sell items you don’t need. Creativity and determination will help you think of ways to make more money and get out of the debt trap.
If you wish to live a debt-free lifestyle, finances are one of the most important things you have to take control of. It will take discipline and determination, but the satisfaction that comes from finally declaring yourself debt free will be worth all your sacrifices.