Every month you see the bills grow, and you may feel at a loss as to how to pay off all of your debt. However, there’s hope. When you pay off debt, you are one step closer to financial freedom, well on your way to affording the life you want to live. Here is a quick list of ways you can pay off your debt.
Make a List of All of Your Debt
Before you begin to pay off debt, you must first list what you have. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to list your debt from the largest number to the smallest. Many people find that this way is the best for them because it is more psychologically satisfying to pay off a large number rather than the smallest number. However, the more accurate and precise way of paying off debt is to list them from highest interest rate to smallest. Interest rates will cause your debt to creep up, so much so that those quiet rates will make you spend much more than you planned.
Create a Budget
You may be a few thousand dollars in debt, or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole. No matter your situation, you need to create a realistic budget on what you can afford to pay every month. If you have a spouse or life partner, try to conspire together to come up with a plan that still allows you to retain a healthy and suitable lifestyle. In many cases, paying debt doesn’t need to break the bank. You may need to place some temporary restrictions on your life, but it will be well worth the effort.
Lay Off of Credit Spending
When you start to pay off debt, do yourself a favor and don’t add more debt to your burden. For many, avoiding credit spending is out of the question. However, limiting your spending the basic necessities may not only be money wise for your budget, but beneficial to your credit score in the long run. For example, you may want to use a card only for gas money, pharmaceuticals, and emergencies so that you have a buffer in place.
Put Extra Money Toward Your Debt
When you receive that Christmas bonus or the extra cash to celebrate your promotion, it is all too tempting to spend it right away on something frivolous. However, it would be wiser to put that money directly toward your debt. Think of that check as a bonus payment toward your financial freedom. This also holds true for tax returns. If you are due for a tax return, put that money toward your payment right away. Professionals at a company like Community Tax can help you pay off your tax debt wisely and help you negotiate with the IRS for the best outcome possible.
Have a Yard Sale
All of that pesky junk adds up, and there are many ways to improve your debt balance by getting rid of all the furniture, toys, and knickknacks you no longer use or need. A yard sale is not only a great way to freshen up your home and finally clean up your garage, but it is an opportunity to put more money toward your debt to pay if off sooner.
Change Your Spending Habits
Throughout life, there are times to spend more money and times to spend less. We all have to tighten our belt from time to time, and so it is time to take a critical look at how much you spend every month. It may be time to kick that morning Starbucks habit, or start making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work that you can make at home. It may not be glamorous, but you will be amazed at how much money you save. Also, it is time to reevaluate any impulse spending. Instead of buying those new shoes or that new gadget right away, take some time to think before you buy. Will those shoes really stand the test of time next season? Is there a better model of the gadget you want that you can save up for? Consider this before you buy.
Having debt is never a pleasant experience, but you do not need to feel hopeless so long as you have the right plan. Follow these steps to pay off your debt and you will be on the path to financial freedom in no time.
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