Paying off debt can be tough work, especially when you’ve still got to live off the money you have coming in every month. Whether it’s debt you’ve had for a while now or only just built up, here are some tips to help pay that debt back.
1. Put A Cap On Your Credit Cards
When it comes to your credit card or if you have multiple ones, it can be easy to spend money. It’s often forgotten that any debt you’re piling up is money that you didn’t have to begin with. Ignoring the building up of debt and not factoring it into your budget is dangerous because that debt isn’t going anywhere fast. Start by putting a cap on your credit cards.
The higher your credit limit, the more tempting it will be to spend it, and that’s not going to be helpful if you have a habit of spending money. By putting a cap on your credit cards, it means you can no longer spend that money and you can then work on reducing the debt even further. Once you’ve paid off it all, try to ensure the cap on these credit cards is a small amount, rather than thousands, which you are unlikely to be able to pay off.
2. Consolidate Your Debt Into One
Debt in various places is not helpful when it comes to paying it off. The more that the debt is spread out, the pricier it becomes. You’ve got interest charges attached to each one, and it’s easy to forget the debt you do have. Try to consolidate your debt in one place when possible. Having it in one fund and paying it back that way will make it much easier than it being in multiple pots. Think about the best fund to put it all in, rather than simply putting it in the largest one. The interest rates and additional charges might be less in some, and you may find it easier going with a different lender entirely.
Tracking your debt is essential to paying it off, so the more of a handle you have on it, the better. There are plenty of guides out there that are focused on refinancing and making sure that the money you are paying back is having a full effect on the debt you’ve accrued. Biglaw Investor’s review of Credible is an interesting read and one that will certainly help you.
3. Start Being Strict With Your Budgeting
Budgeting is something I’ve struggled with my entire adult life, but trust me it’s important! Budgeting takes a lot of effort, but it’s what can help you save the money you need in order to pay back your debt quickly. If you haven’t already, get yourself a proper system going when it comes to your budget.
Try to focus on the expenditures you have that go out each month and be specific with every little amount. Compare that to your income and find out what you’re left over with. That figure should be the minimum that you save to put towards debt. Start to look at what you can do to help reduce the cost of household bills. That might be shopping for cheaper produce or cutting down on what you spend on in general.
Pro tip: delete all of your food delivery apps- trust me its a lifesaver!
4. Cut Down On Luxury Items
Talking of budgeting, there’s likely to be items on your budget and expenditures that you make, that aren’t needed. Eating out, for example, and spending money on clothing that you might not need right now. Subscriptions to certain things could likely do with canceling for a while until you’re back into the black. Remember that anything that isn’t food, your utility bills, and house payments, is a luxury. And even though some of those luxuries make life more enjoyable, it’s important you’re out of your debt first.
Try to pinpoint the specifics on where your money is being spent the most and work on cutting those down as and when you can. Be strict, and don’t give in to temptation. If you don’t need it, then consider it as something you want, and therefore, the money can go towards paying off your debt.
5. Spend More Time Entertaining At Home
Think of your apartment as a place where you should spend more time because, surprise! Everything there is already paid for!
I know having a social life is very important because we all need that social connection. However, eating out and socializing all the time can be very expensive. And so it’s good to suggest to friends and family that we spend more time entertaining at home. Take turns hosting, and you’ll spend less money doing that then you would eating out. It’s a small thing to change in your lifestyle for a while, but it can make a big impact on how much you spend per month on eating out.
All of this spare cash can then go towards getting yourself out of debt so that you can go back to have a bit more time out and about.
6. Never Spend What You Can’t Afford
Try to have this attitude going forward so that every purchase you make is due to you having money in your bank account to pay for it. It can be very easy to spiral back into debt if you’re easily swayed. If you can’t afford it, then save the money so you can. Again, this is something I really struggle with since I’m an incredibly impulsive person, but I’m trying to be better about this!
Getting into debt is usually warranted though when a payment exceeds the amount you have, like buying a property or studying. Emergencies can sometimes happen to which requires you to pay upfront. However, these are the only exceptions to the rule!
Paying back your debt can be done quicker if you’ve got the right attitude, and you’ve planned how you’re going to pay it back. Cut out the luxuries until you’re back in a comfortable position and always be money-conscious when spending your hard-earned cash.