If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably carrying some debt. The average American owes more than $16,000 in credit card debt alone. While it can be difficult to get rid of debt, it’s not impossible. If you’re ready to start tackling your debt head-on, here are five steps that can help you become debt-free in no time.
1) Make a list of your debt.
2) Use the avalanche debt method.
3) Create a budget and stick to it.
4) Find More Income, And Cut expenses wherever possible.
5) Get rid of high-interest credit cards, loans, and other debts that will take forever to pay off.
6.) Celebrate when you’re done! It’s not easy, but it is possible!
Debt is becoming an increasingly serious concern for Americans of all ages. The Federal Reserve reports that total household debt in the United States increased to $12.73 trillion in March 2017. While there are other strategies for dealing with debt, following these five steps will help you overcome it once and for all.
Create a list of all of your debts.
To develop a plan, you must first consolidate all of your debts. Your list should contain the minimum payment amount and the total amount owing, as well as the interest rates for each debt or loan included in this prepared ledger – from credit cards to mortgages, if appropriate! You may want to ensure that not just they appear here, but also any family members that owe money (unless those are paid by someone else).
When you’re drowning in debt and want to regain control of your situation, begin by examining where all of your money goes. Your list should include not only the amount owed, but also any pertinent information such as interest rates or required monthly payments for each loan; this will assist in developing an actionable plan that can take into account everything from credit card offers (which may offer lower rate debts) to lengthy student loan repayment schedules!
For those who owe family members as well – keep in mind that they will affect future prospects as well – consider treating them equally when making vehicle purchasing selections.
Utilize the avalanche debt technique.
A debt avalanche approach is an extremely effective tool for those who have acquired more funds to pay down their obligations. While this is the most efficient way to use money, there are other equally successful ways, such as paying off high-interest loans first or refinancing at a lower rate if possible!
Many individuals find themselves in a scenario where they owe money at increased interest rates to numerous creditors.
The debt avalanche method is an effective way to pay off all your debts by ordering them from highest to lowest interest rate – but you only have two options for how much each account will cost based on what’s leftover after servicing the current loans/credit cards that require monthly payments regardless of whether there are any missed payments mixed in!
Once you’ve paid off your highest-interest loan, you may move on to a higher-interest account. Continue in this manner until all of your bills have been paid!
It pays dividends to attack those pesky high-interest accounts first so they don’t compound and gradually siphon away more money than necessary from savings or investments – such as investing in yourself by paying down these bills as quickly as possible before other less important obligations take over again.
Establish and adhere to a budget
Without a budget, the only thing preventing you from spending more than your income is those pesky debts. However, there is no need to be concerned! While budgeting might be tedious, it has several advantages for money management and planning – not to mention how simple it is to create one using tools like Mint or You Need A Budget (and you know what they say about simplicity).
However, the greatest method I’ve ever discovered for doing this? Simply get some good old-fashioned paper/pencil to ensure that all of those numbers go exactly where we want them at least once every paycheck.
To get started, you’ll need some basic financial information. Therefore, record the monthly income and all associated recurring expenses – such as rent or mortgage payments on top of utility bills; insurance premiums that cover things like home protection from fires/storms (and other accidents); medical coverage if employed full-time by one company throughout their career path; and even minimum credit card payments may be included here if they are considered necessary!
Now consider your non-essential spending habits: do you often dine out? How much money does he spend on amusement each week?)
Now, while maintaining track, develop an outline incorporating these data.
If your spending exceeds your income, or if the money is insufficient to cover all of the tasks associated with work and living, search for areas where you may cut down. For instance:
- Breakfast may be shared with a coworker, or you can make an account on RideShare.org to locate carpool companions! You’ll save money by not having to pay for petrol, and you’ll also be able to maintain your car more effectively – it’s a win/win situation.
- You may always cook meals at home rather than dining out every day; this would likely greatly reduce your monthly expenditures in comparison to paying someone else $50 to drive.
- If you’re paying for many streaming services, choose one or two favorites and cancel the others.
- Change your data plan If your current arrangement with your carrier is too costly, but it is not required to get cheaper rates from other carriers, investigate alternative possibilities until you discover one that meets your needs.
Increase your income and reduce your costs whenever feasible.
You can only cut so many corners when it comes to debt relief. If a raise or promotion at your full-time work is unlikely, search for methods to generate some more money on the side using that expertise!
Consider adjusting your employer’s tax withholding. If you get a substantial return year after year, it is possible that too much money is being withheld from your salary and utilized as an automatic payment toward debts, rather than being set away for savings or food! Request a fresh W 4 form to lower the amount deducted each pay period until fall when checks are normally received again.
With a little luck and dedication, you may earn much more than an additional hundred bucks each month. A side hustle can diversify your income stream while also giving you new options for how much time you spend working on this project or another full-time job at the same company – even if all that happens is that you earn enough money to cover daily expenses plus basic living expenses such as food and shelter without incurring additional debt from student loans., which would then allow them to decide whether to continue with their current job.
Eliminate high-interest credit cards, loans, and other long-term obligations.
If you have more than one credit card, arrange them in order of greatest to the lowest interest rate. Prior to going on, pay off accounts with the highest percentage rates until they are completely paid; otherwise, your payments will be unequal, which will result in increased debt and penalties!
Sort your credit card interest rates in ascending order. Once this is accomplished, begin with the highest-interest cards and work your way down, paying down balances until all are paid in whole each month while still making at least the minimum payments on other cards!
What is the most effective approach to avoid debt accumulation? When you go shopping, remove all credit cards from your wallet and leave them at home, advises former My Money writer Sabah Karimi.
Even if it means collecting cashback or other prizes for purchases made on one of these machines, refrain from spending more money than required until your finances have stabilized!
“If you’ve been keeping your credit card information on an internet shopping site to expedite the checkout process, use that same information to pay for extraneous items—clear those charges from storage!” advises Hamm. “You may be paying monthly fees on a recurring basis throughout the year without recognizing it.”
When you’re finished, celebrate! It is not straightforward, but it is achievable!
If you have paid off all of your credit cards and are now debt-free, it might be tempting to revert to old behaviors. It’s critical not just because of what occurred with these loans, but also to ensure that future undertakings go more smoothly—if they don’t get off to a great start, they have little chance of success!
“Even after paying off a debt,” Money Manifesto’s Lance Cothern explains, “you still need some kind of occasion or event when each month is checked off as paid in full.” This assists in keeping track of one’s progress, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks before being caught up again at
So, how was it? Is it good or bad? If you’re overwhelmed and in need of a pat on the back, keep in mind that this is not an easy task.
You must be devoted and diligent, but there is nothing better than being debt-free after your debt payback plan is complete. It may take some time before you can resume normal life – but when other aspects of your money are going well (such as savings! ), getting out from beneath your debts will seem like a relief rather than a burden.
Leave a comment below if I’ve helped you in any way!