Having to pay large amounts of debts is never a good position to be in as it can be quite stressful to say the least. You end up losing your sleep over the money you owe a bank, lender or friends in some cases. But in many instances debts are completely unavoidable; you might have had to take a loan to buy a house or you might need to pay off your credit card bills. It could be a loan you might have taken for your education or to look after an emergency. There are many who have had to take loans to deal with the financial difficulties that are a result of the present economic situation around us.
Whatever the reason you might have taken a loan for, you need to remember that paying off your debt is not impossible. Difficult it might seem but it’s certainly manageable. In fact, as many have shown in the past and even in today’s volatile times, paying off debt can be a breeze. But the important thing is not to feel daunted and overwhelmed by your debt. Paying off debt is all about perseverance and making the right decisions that will ease the financial burden on you.
If you make a few easy-to-follow changes in your lifestyle and cut costs in your day to day life, you will have more money left at the end of the day to pay off your loan. Here are a few simple steps you can take to make your task of paying your debt a breeze.
• Before you start paying off your debts, get a handle on the situation and find out exactly how much money you owe. Also try to figure out the debt that is costing you more than the others and start paying it off at the earliest.
• It’s advisable to avoid getting into a new debt while you are paying off your existing ones. It will only escalate your problems, which will then be blown into unmanageable proportions.
• Try and lower your expenses wherever you can; you don’t have to scrimp to make ends meet and put money towards paying off the loan. But simple cost cutting can help; make a list of most important expenses you have to incur every month. Put money aside for those expenses and prioritize other expenses.
• Even though you are in debt you are allowed to have a good quality time with your family and you can still go on holidays with your loved ones if you wish to. But try and budget your trips, take a short weekend away from home rather than a long holiday. And if you manage to convince your family to wait on their holiday plans until your debts are paid off, even better.
• Before you go out shopping make a list of things that you absolutely need and cannot do without. Also, have a rough amount in mind that you want to spend on your shopping trip and stick to that budget.
• Our utility bills end up costing a fortune every month and a sizeable portion of it is paid towards our phone and Internet bills. More often than not you are paying more than should be for your Internet and mobile phone plan. Look for better deals available in the market so that you will be able to save money on these bills.
• In general, you will have to become a negotiator on every count and look for cost effective plans for practically every need of the family; from energy costs to any other utility bills.
• Most of us also end up spending huge amounts on fuel for our cars, which is a criminal waste especially when you are in debt. Look for a fuel efficient car so that you will save yourself substantial amounts every month.
• No one’s stopping you from buying things just because you are in debt but think twice before buying anything. It’s a good idea to ask yourself if you absolutely need something or if it can wait till you have paid off your debts.
• Credit cards might be handy only when used with discretion. But when you are trying to pay off a debt they can be the bane of your existence. Hence, at least during the period of time that you have to pay off your debt, keep your credit cards away from your reach. Pay for everything with cash and avoid getting into bigger debts having to pay exorbitant credit card fees.
• Set yourself a target of how much money you can save every month so that it can be put towards your debt. Some loans have to be paid quarterly and what happens is, people save money one month but end up spending it the next. To avoid that from happening, put the money you save aside. Create a bank account if it helps, and keep putting your savings into it, so that your debt can be paid off at a given time.
Paying off your debt is all about discipline and perseverance rather than amount you make every month. If you are in debt and want to pay it off, you cannot be extravagant. If you can’t buy something in cash, it means that you just cannot afford it at this point in time. It’s as simple as that; you need to start living within your means to be able to reduce the burden of debt from your shoulders.
You need to realize that leading a debt free existence is liberating and there are many rewards of it. You can go do bed every night with the peace of mind and will not have to worry about tomorrow. And it will only happen if you are committed towards paying off your debt by making small changes in your life. These simple changes will go a long way in helping you pay off your debt and live a happy and debt free life.
Readers: Do you have any tips or tricks that would help one get out of this kind of debt? Please remember that there is two kinds of debt, good debt and bad debt. I wrote about getting out of debt in this fashion because in some instances people are just in too bad of financial shape and must do what it takes to become financially free!