If you’re reading this, then you’re already on the right track to changing your life. You want to lower your debt, and grow your wealth. Fantastic!
The tips below are merely that… tips to help and inspire you.
They are beginning building blocks to set you on the path to success.
Some are easy steps.
Others are hard.
All of them are important.
Let’s get into it!
1. Don’t spend a single penny on “get rich quick” books and seminars that promise you “easy money.” If someone says you can make lots of money with minimal to no work, it may be a scam.
You may be saying,
“Yes! I wish I could afford a vacation to Hawaii.”
“Yes! I wish I could shop at stores other than thrift stores.”
“Yes! I wish tax season didn’t bring me so much anxiety.”
But is one person’s “get rich quick” book going to change that? No!
Don’t fall for it.
Don’t let your family fall for it.
Don’t let your friends fall for it.
Eliminating debt is work.
It’s hard work, and it won’t come easy. But, it CAN come, and it IS worth it. We’re here to help you do exactly that.
2. Spend your money…
You weren’t expecting that, were you!
Let me say it one more time with emphasis. Spend YOUR money.
Obviously, don’t spend ALL of your money. That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is this – if you want to get rid of debt, you have to stop spending money that you don’t have… aka Credit Cards.
Only spend money you actually have in your bank account, or in cash.
This is a 100% necessary step to reduce your debt.
To decrease your debt, you have to stop adding to it.
Once you’ve budgeted your finances so that you can start paying for things in cash, one thing you’ll discover is that it actually feels MUCH better.
3. Create a cushion fund of $800-$1200.
Why is this important?
Because when the car breaks down, or you visit urgent care, or there’s a random emergency, the go-to payment method is often a credit card….
A credit card we easily forget about, that racks up more and more debt, and with that, more, and more interest.
A cushion we can fall on helps break the fall when life pushes us over (like it so often does).
When an emergency does come and you do utilize the cushion fund, don’t forget to refill it.
4. Simplify your budget into two categories.
A. Bare necessities (food, housing, transportation for work, etc.,).
B. Paying off debt.
If you can live without it, then it can go towards paying off debt.
This may seem obvious, but boy is it difficult to practice.
For example, the other day my wife and I went to see that movie everyone was talking about. Except… we didn’t ACTUALLY do that because we put the $40 towards paying off our debt.
Or, last night I was really craving sushi! But that wasn’t in the budget, so I had to settle for some canned tuna over rice (somewhat joking about that).
Each of these decisions are hard to make in the moment. But think ahead to a life without debt. A life with less anxiety and stress over unpaid bills, and more financial safety and security.
Think about that vacation to Hawaii and the shopping spree you can actually afford!
That future will be way better than a sushi dinner on a Tuesday night, I guarantee you.
5. Call creditors and request a lower interest rate.
If you can get away with not paying extra money though interest, this is one tip worth trying that many people don’t actually try.
The fact is, consumers who can present a strong case to creditors of financial stress or existing hardship are often surprised to find that creditors agree to adjust interest rates.
Give the creditors compelling arguments as to why you need it lowered.
6. Tackle the debts that have the highest interest rate first or debts you can pay off in the very near future.
For the sake of time we won’t dive deep into this (we did say the article would only take 5 minutes to read), but for those that have multiple debts they’re tackling, we have a free Debt Snowball Worksheet you can download here.
7. This may be one of the most important facts in both life and finances, so here it is. What everyone else thinks of you doesn’t matter.
What exactly does that mean in relation to debt?
That means if you are physically able to move in with family or friends so you can save on rent, or so you can sell a home that’s dragging you down financially, don’t NOT do it because it’s bad for your image.
The most expensive part of our LifeStyle is Style itself.
Put Style on the back burner and just focus on creating a safer, healthier, more secure Life.
This might mean selling the car and biking to work, or selling all the name brand clothing in the closet to make some extra cash (to put towards debt).
When the debt is finally gone, you’ll be so glad you no longer care what others think of you.
8. (Bonus Tip) Debt relief programs like Debt Consolidation or Debt Settlement aren’t for everyone, but they are beneficial for many.
For those that are really struggling with credit card debt, medical bills or other unsecured debt (not backed by collateral such as a home or car) don’t jump in to a debt relief program without first seeing if you can get out of debt on your own.
Secondly, you should read through the pros and cons of the different debt relief programs. They don’t eliminate debt by making debt magically go away. These programs are proven, and have changed many people’s lives, but they require discipline and commitment to stay the course. What they do, and have done for people across the country is to provide a simpler, more affordable way to tackle debts.
Before committing to a debt relief program, find out if it’s the right fit.
There is no easy fix for getting out of debt, but there are proven solutions. The debt free life is waiting for you if you are willing to commit to a personalized plan that meets your needs.
Whether you are able to take steps to budget, plan, and get out of debt on your own, or you take advantage of a debt relief (or debt consolidation) program – we hope you find the financial freedom you’re looking for.