Did you know that millions of people worldwide spend more money than they earn each month? Credit is often used to bridge that gap, and it puts consumers further into debt every year. Debt is often unavoidable, as most people need it throughout their lives to support financial and personal endeavors.
It can help to buy a new car, get an education, own a home, or expand a business. It's often a necessary stepping-stone toward a life that's lucrative and fulfilling.
However, if you're not managing your debt correctly, the dream of a lucrative and fulfilling life will take much longer than if you take the time to manage your finances now. Whether you have a large or a little debt to pay off, it's crucial to make sure it doesn't get out of control.
For various reasons, many people struggle with making monthly payments. And as the bills start to pile up, it sometimes seems easiest to avoid and ignore your financial situation altogether - the reality of owing so much is too much to face.
Have you ever been in a situation where you'd rather turn off your phone and ignore the bank's calls than admit that you're in trouble? You're not alone. But you don't have to be in that situation forever. There are steps to take today that will bring you to a much more financially stable position. Let's take a look at what those are.
1. Create a Strict Budget
An effective - albeit challenging - method to pay down debt faster is to cut your expenses drastically. Create a monthly budget that allows you to live on as little as possible for as long as possible. This method looks different for everyone, but it should be devoid of any unnecessary costs such as:
- Going out to eat;
- Buying coffee every morning;
- Having multiple online streaming subscriptions
The purpose of your tight budget is to put as much money as possible toward paying off your debts, so place any extra expenses on hold until you feel more financially secure. Remember, living off essentials is only meant to be temporary. Once you're closer to your financial goal, you can start to add discretionary spending back into your monthly expenditures.
2. Keep Up with Minimum Payments
If you're unable to pay anything more, at least make the minimum payments. Monthly minimum payments keep your debts from increasing and your account in good standing. When you miss several payments, it becomes harder to catch up and, eventually, your accounts could go into default.
3. Consult with a Debt Consolidation Program
A Debt Consolidation Program manages any unsecured debt, including credit card debt, unsecured lines of credit, payday loans, and other unsecured loans. It combines two or more debts into one, resulting in single monthly debt payment and lower total interest costs.
You'll speak with a certified Credit Counsellor from a non-profit credit counselling agency who will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. A Credit Counsellor will also help you create a monthly budget to keep track of your monthly spending habits.
Tackling debt might feel intimidating at first, but it's worth it. These three steps can help you become debt-free. And the faster you become debt-free, the quicker you can start living the life that you deserve.