Top Tips To Help You Get Debt-Free
Debt can drain the fun out of life.
Credit cards, student loans, car payments, mobile phone contracts… it doesn’t matter where you owe money, the fact your hard-earned cash goes so quickly is a real pain. But, once you make paying off a debt a priority, it becomes easier to live with.
Here are 10 tips to help you get debt-free.
- Make a list of all your debts (scary). But if you don’t know where all your money is going each month, this will be the big reveal.
- List them in order, starting with the highest interest rates through to the lowest. The one at the top of the list is the one costing you the most moolah. That’s the one you want to get rid of first.
- Always make the monthly payments on all your debts, even if it’s the minimum amount. Failure to pay will incur penalties and late fee charges as well as affecting your credit rating.
- Focus efforts on paying the most money off one debt (the one at the top of your list), clearing it as soon as possible, then move onto the next one. Regard it as a ladder you’re climbing down from.
- Draw up a spending plan. Not the best way to spend a night in but you’ll reap the rewards. Prioritise the MUSTs from the MAYBEs. Cut back on the MAYBEs and your outgoings will automatically come down.
- Resist temptation. Leave your credit cards at home when you go out. Impulse spending can cause a lot of damage.
- Sell some of your unwanted gear and use the cash to increase your card payments. It hurts at the time, but seeing that figure going down will make it worthwhile.
- Cut down. Two of the worst words in the English language, as it usually refers to everything in life you enjoy, but … less beer/ cake/ coffee/ cinema trips/ blow-drys/ magazines (you get the idea) the more money you save, the less debt you have.
- Know your triggers. If you tend to spend money online when you’re bored, take up a hobby. Don’t head off to the supermarket when you’re hungry. Delete all the telephone numbers for your local takeaways. Whatever it takes.
- Have an emergency pot of money. Sounds a bit weird having a little secret stash when you’re trying to pay off debt, but if you’re hit by sudden unexpected expense, you don’t need to load it onto your credit card, undoing all the good work you’ve done.
- Know when it’s time to ask for help. Speaking to a professional can feel really scary, but just remember that they are trained to give you the very best advice. They won’t judge, and can kick start you on a clear path to getting out of debt. To get advice you can rely on, make sure you speak to a company regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.