Easy Ways to Dig Out of Debt
It is tax season again, and that means millions of Americans are combing through financial documents in order to get the correct information and hopefully get a decent return. It might be more noticeable now than at any time of year that you have some debt to tidy up. You may have student loan debt, a hefty mortgage, or extensive credit card debt to pay off. No matter how much debt you have or where it comes from, you can’t get out if it without a solid plan. These are some easy ways to dig out of debt.
Vow to Stop Borrowing
If you want to get out of debt, the first thing you need to do is stop taking out more money. Decide that you are not going to open any more credit cards, or stop shopping for homes you can’t afford. It is time to narrow your focus and take away all of those tempting distractions. There will be time in the future to spend, but this is a time to tighten your belt on expenses.
List Your Debt
List all of your debts in detail so that you can tackle them one by one. Name the creditor, balance, minimum payment, and interest rate. Include loans and any other expenses you owe. It may help to create an excel spreadsheet that you can easily change over time, or to write it down in strategic categories. It may help to list your debts from largest to smallest or smallest to largest. You can list your debt in a technique called laddering. In laddering, you list your debts according to the highest interest rate and end with the lowest Try tackling your debt list one at a time. Paying off your first debt can feel like a huge accomplishment and give you the encouragement to keep going. List it out in a way that works for you.
Create a Budget
A realistic and reliable budget is important whether or not you have debt. It keeps you on track to achieve your goals and pay off your expenses, as well as save for unexpected costs. A budget is vital because it keeps your debt in check with all of your other monthly expenses, including auto insurance, medical insurance, gas, groceries, etc. By keeping up with and balancing your budget, you can see your hard work in action. You will soon find that some of your expenses can easily get out of hand, such as your daily lunches out of the office. Be conscious of reducing those expenses so you can put more money into getting yourself out of debt. Some people find that a faster way to get out of date is to pick up an extra job. Many may pursue a temporary job that will last them until their debt is paid. A college graduate may work multiple jobs, or have a tutoring job on the side for high school students. Find a route where you can make more income and you will be sure to decrease your debt quicker.
Change Your Habits
It is one thing to create a budget, and it is another to stick to it. It can be a little too easy to pull out that credit card on a night out with friends or go outside your budget for the latest trend. However, during this time you must be diligent; your future financial success depends on what you do now. If you need some help, consider taking out cash every week for other expenses, such as groceries or going out to happy hour after work. Decide that you will only stick to your cash so that you don’t go outside of your budget. Tricks like these can help steer you on the right path.
Have a Timeline
It helps to create a timeline in which you want your debt paid off. If you are trying to pay off owed taxes, then know that IRS tax payment plans help people across the country pay back owed taxes. Perhaps you want to pay off your credit card debt in a year, or you are a recent graduate living at home and paying the majority of your paycheck toward your student loan. Having a timeline will make your dream of paying off debt appear achievable and tangible.
Disclosure: The content written in this article was provided by as a guest post from Adam Pepka.
More about Adam:
Adam is a real estate doyenne and finance guru currently residing in Tucson, Arizona. His real estate investments in several states keep him constantly on the go, and his passion for writing has found him penning pieces with unique insights on everything from landlording issues to investment advice.