Five sure-fire ways to get out of debt and stay out!
If you are like most people, you are probably struggling with some form of debt. Like many, you probably have a credit card - maybe several. You hold a balance, and pay the minimum, and feel like you are sinking in a quicksand of debt. Well, it's high time for you to grab the rope and get out of debt, starting today. Follow these 5 steps, and you will be well on your way to being debt free.
1. Write it down
Write down every bill that you pay each month. One group should be bills paid in set amounts, like rent, mortgage payment, car insurance, that stay the same each month. Then the next group should contain payments that fluctuate, but still need to be paid. Then make a list of monthly expenses that you need such as groceries, and petrol.
Finally, start a list of other things you spend money on, such as new clothing and entertainment – luxuries, in other words. This is the first place you should look to find extra cash leaks.
2. Stick to the List!
The grocery list, that is. If you keep track of the extra things that you buy in the supermarket each week that you had not originally planned to buy, you'd probably discover an extra $25-$200 each month! And DON'T do your grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Everything looks enticing when your stomach is growling.
3. Raise the Bar
Set an amount that you will pay on your credit card each month, say, $100 above the minimum, and stick to it. Done consistently, you'll be surprised what a difference it will make to your level of debt!
4. Open a Trendy New Restaurant
Chez Vous - Your House! Bring lunches to work, and cook quick meals at home. Utilize your freezer – cook more than you need and freeze half. If you don't know how to cook, now is the time to learn. Invest $10 in yourself, and buy a cookbook.
5. Champagne Taste, Hamburger Budget
Don't spend more than you earn. That may sound logical, but you'd be surprised how many people live outside of their means. Stick to your budget, and if there's extra money after taking care of your expenses, then, by all means reward yourself - conservatively, of course.
By keeping track of your income and expenses, making lists and making a few changes to your routine, you will get out of debt faster than you ever dreamed. Remember – a bit of hard work now is worth peace of mind and financial security in the future!
1 April 2014