Being saddled with lots of debt is a life limiting factor. When we have money worries, we have less freedom. Instead of doing what we want to do, we have to do what finances dictate. Our decisions aren’t our own, and long-term plans like saving to own a house fall by the wayside. When used correctly, debt financing can be a useful tool – but instead of using it wisely, too many of us get lured in by easy credit and end up frittering this ‘free’ money away on luxuries, until it all catches up with us. Then getting out of debt again can seem impossible and overwhelming – but in fact, with a few easy steps you can start to make progress and come up with a long term plan for your financial freedom.
Raise Your Payments
If you only make the minimum repayment amount on your debt each month, you’re going nowhere fast. In fact, the only person who is benefitting is the finance company who receives a lot more in interest payments. So start off by raising the payments to the maximum that you can afford. Not only will your debt diminish a lot faster, but you will also save thousands in interest payments. Check that you aren’t subject to any early repayment penalties first. With interest rates on savings being low at the moment, it is often a better idea to use any savings to pay off debt – you will save a lot more than you would have accrued. But always leave enough for an emergency, and do the sums first to make sure it all adds up. Tools like ReadyForZero can help you understand exactly how you could benefit from paying it off, or speaking to a Debt Settlement Lawyer can give you a better idea of where you stand.
Strip Your Budget Back Down
We all have areas where we overspend, so identifying these can be really helpful. A budgeting app like Plum can text you with advice on your bank account and show you how to make savings, while simple steps such as cancelling any unused subscriptions can end up saving you a fair chunk of money. Try to cut your outgoings to the bare minimum and consider strategies such as downsizing to a house share or moving back in with relatives temporarily in order to clear down your debt as quickly as possible. You can add some discretionary spending back into your budget when you’ve made enough of a hole in your debt.
Try a Second Job
Taking on a second job for a short while to right your finances is also a good idea. Whether it’s becoming an eBay reseller or picking up some seasonal work to supplement your main income, it can all help to make a dent in the amount that you owe.Channel this extra temporary income towards your debt as well as leaning out your budget and you may be able to make inroads much quicker than you thought. A few short-term adjustments can get you ahead of the game again and ready to move towards your financial goals.