If you’re in debt, it’s likely that it’s not your fault. You are a decent person who intends to repay what you owe. Unfortunately, life continues to throw barriers in your way, and you’re stuck in the hole you’ve created for yourself. With that in mind, here are some personal debt reduction tips to help you get back on track.
1. STOP! You will not be able to get out of debt by taking on more debt. Put your credit cards away right now. It doesn’t matter what it is. There are none. It’s time to stop adding to your debt and start building a solid financial foundation.
2. Examine your current circumstances. This phase may take some time to complete, but it is critical to turn things around. You must keep meticulous records of all your expenses, right down to the last cent. Keep it honest, and keep in mind that no one else has to see it. Then, regardless of source, detail all your earnings. Make a list of all your debts, including the principal, interest rate, and least payment. You now have a clear image of your existing condition, which you may use as a starting point.
3. Take a deep breath and set your priorities. Personal debt reduction can be a stressful process, but there is a simple way to make it less unpleasant. Now that you know how much money comes in and goes out, it’s time to figure out which expenses are the most critical. In general, anything you need to be alive or keep your revenue flowing in should be high on your priority list. Food, shelter, utilities, medicine, and a car are a few examples. Low-priority things include cable television, an extra cell phone, cigarettes, and junk food.
4. Get a handle on your expenditures. Setting your priorities is a natural outgrowth of this. In reality, if you’ve prioritized, this stage will be simple. It’s now only a matter of getting rid of or lowering the lowest-priority items. Continue working your way up the list from the bottom to the top, cutting each expense as much as you can. If you have a limited budget, make sure the most important items are taken care of first.
5. Attack! By now, you should have saved a lot more money by cutting back on low-value purchases. Start paying off the debt with the lowest balance with this money, then pay the smallest on all other bills. Then, once you’ve paid off the smallest loan, move on to the next. Remember that you now have the same amount of money as you did on the previous loan, which you should apply to the next creditor’s least payment. This is known as the snowball method by financial experts and is one of the most successful ways to get out of debt.