Getting out of debt is not easy! Admit it and brace yourself for the sacrifice.
If you think this article is going to make your life easy. It isn’t. Sorry to be brute but that is the truth of the matter. You will go through a lot of lifestyle changes to get that debt out of your life. So are you ready for some thick advice?
1. Change your spending habits: Your habits got you in the situation you are in, so its only common sense that you need to change your over-bearing and wasteful habits to get over the debt you have accumulated. Start with your daily routine and stretch onto your weekly and then monthly spending habits. Some habits are once in a while things while some are more frequent than you would like to admit. Make a spending journal and figure out how you ‘tend’ to spend.
2. Don’t try to tackle multiple debts at once: So you have 5 different debts and each having 5 different figures. It’s quite normal and it’s actually good that the numbers are different from being same and equal! That would have made things hard. Tackle the smallest debt first. Pay it off first and then go for the next deepest well. Credit card debts can become worse with time and if they are not among the first ones to be paid off then they will accumulate over time. However, cutting your card when you have paid off your bill is not a smart move. Having a card and showing some restraint in spending improves credit scores (ask your bank for your credit scores).
3. Stop spending on inexplicable recurring expenses: Do you need cable and Netflix both? You need to go out eating every night with your friends just because…..? You need to buy new clothes every month because….? You need new shoes/make-up/flowers because….? If you can’t find a valid reason to fill in after ‘because ….’ there is a very good chance you are spending for no good reason. Cut down on those expenses that seem impulse and to impress others.
4. Plan your grocery trips: Write down what you need on a piece of paper or smart phone app and only buy those items. Grocery items are placed in a way to make you buy more. Try to push your cart only to those aisles and pick only items that you need. And never go food shopping on an empty stomach.
5. Stop investing: This kind of goes against all the personal finance advice but if you are deep in debt, there is no point in investing huge amounts of money in stocks or funds. However, do not take out the money that is already invested. Go against your strongest desire to take out all your savings and investments to pay off all the debt. This will not help you. Instead pay off the debt from your current income and let the investments grow.
6. Get a side gig/job: Give home tuition or open a small handmade business. Let money pour in using your free time. This will help clear your debts and also open new networking avenues for you. You will develop new client relations and may even be more good at it. Use your latent talents and skills to develop your side gig.
7. Sell what you don’t need: Do you have an extra TV lying around in the bedroom? Maybe an extra shelf you don’t need? Maybe those clothes that don’t fit you anymore or you have worn only once? Sell them at Olx or Facebook selling pages and earn some cash to pay off the debt. Make sure you do not require those items.
8. Ask for a raise: Without sounding needy ask your boss for a raise. The worst you can hear is a “No” which will do you no harm.
Getting out debt will require serious re-thinking and re-modeling of your behavior. Just like you take up gym to live a healthier life, change your spending habits to live a financially conscious life. It will pay off in the long run.