We are in the process of creating an alphabet for you dedicated to getting out of debt faster. Here is the A to E for getting you started!
A for accept
The first and probably most vital step of getting on top your finances again, is to accept things the way they are right now. You simply have to accept that you are overly in debt and come to terms with the fact that things need to change. For most of us, we wait for too long and perpetuate the bad cycle of credit by getting more and more credit in order to maintain our lifestyles, thus, the debt keeps mounting and with this the interest as well. It’s a terribly cycle that can only be stopped by taking pertinent action.
Brand new budget
Instead of buying a brand new… anything, get a brand new budget. We say ‘brand new’, because let’s face it, the old one wasn’t working. Setting up a workable and realistic budget is as easy as pie. A budget has two columns, one for money that comes in and the other for money that goes out. Make a list of every bit of debt that you have. Also prioritize this debt in order of urgency. The items that are more urgent because they are further behind in payments and the items with the highest interest rates, should take priority over the other items. After you have made a list of your debt, draw up a monthly budget. List everything very carefully and then work out a payment plan. Stick to your budget! No matter how hard it may seem or how much temptation you may experience, don’t stray away from your budget.
Cutting cost is different from saving. Cutting cost is more than just a compromise. It’s a sacrifice. It’s giving something up entirely that you don’t really need. For some people this may mean to sell an expensive car and buying something a lot more cheaper. For other people it may be as small as letting a domestic worker go and taking up house work yourself in order to cut cost. There are many ways to cut costs. Have you ever considered giving up DSTV TV or your ADSL line? Cutting cost can also be done by giving up eating out and rather buying groceries. There are many ways and they are usually different for different people. Take a look at every area of your life and evaluate where you are able to cut cost. You will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome once you have taken a closer look at your lifestyle!
Embrace debit order payments. Talk to your lending institutions and ask them to set up debit orders for you to be paid between the 25th and the 1st of each month. This includes everything from clothing credit cards to furniture or house appliance store cards. By setting up debit orders, you will become ‘disciplined’ to follow a payment plan that is designed for your budget. It will get you into the habit of being financially mindful enough to not spend more money than what you have. Because at the end of the month, you need to make sure that you have sufficient funds in your bank account for the debit orders to be deducted.
Economising is about saving money on the small things in your day to day life. Think of things like burning a heater in winter vs. using a hot water bottle. Taking a hot shower vs. taking a long hot bath. Joining a car pool to work and back vs. driving into the office alone each day. Again, there are so many possibilities where you will be able to economise. You just need to take an objective look at your lifestyle to identify areas where you will be able to economise. The really great thing about economizing is that it takes us back to the basics in our lives. It makes us appreciate the little things in life again. So go ahead and try it! Not only will you save money, you will get a new found sense of appreciation for the small pleasures in life.
If you enjoyed these tips, or need any further information about debt counseling, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org – our outstanding debt counselors are ready to assist you with financial advice.
Great video by Dave Ramsey on how to get out of debt. Must view below for any person: