Is there anything worse than being in debt? You know that you have to get out of it, but at the same time, it can seem so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to start.
There are so many different kinds of debt to deal with, and each kind needs to be paid off in its own way. But it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems — if you follow the steps below, you’ll find yourself on your way to getting out of debt in no time!
1. Set a goal
The first step to getting out of debt is setting a goal. This will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the process.
Write down your goal, and be specific about the date you want to be debt-free. Then, calculate how much you need to pay each month to reach your goal.
Be realistic with this number, so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
If necessary, adjust your spending habits to bring in more money or cut back on unnecessary expenses. Finally, start saving for emergencies and retirement so that when you finally achieve financial freedom from being in debt, you’ll have something waiting for you at the other end!
2. Organize Your Debt
The first step to getting out of debt is to get organized. Know how much you owe and to whom. This will help you develop a plan to pay off your debt.
It’s also helpful to create an emergency fund, so that you’re not stuck with credit card bills when something goes wrong.
Make sure that all the creditors know what your plans are so they don’t charge extra fees on top of what you owe them. If they ask for more money than what’s already owed, be firm and tell them no – it’s time for them to start paying!
3. Stop Overcharging
A lot of people are in debt because they overspend. They max out their credit cards and then have to pay interest on the balance.
If you want to get out of debt, you need to stop overcharging. One way to do this is to cut up your credit cards.
This will help you spend less money. Another way to stop overcharging is to create a budget. When you know how much money you have to spend, you are less likely to overspend.
You should also make sure that you use only one credit card for purchases. Having one card limits the number of times that you can overcharge yourself with interest payments.
You should also be aware of what your bank charges for withdrawals from an ATM or at a store so that you don’t end up with two different fees for withdrawing cash! Find someone who can lend you money: It’s not easy, but if you’re going to stay out of debt, it’s necessary.
Some banks offer loans against securities such as stocks and bonds; others offer loans against items such as homes. Either way, if you find someone who is willing to lend you money without charging any interest (they may ask for collateral), take it!
4. Understand Where Your Debt Comes From
The first step to getting out of debt is understanding where your debt comes from. Do you have credit card debt, student loans, medical bills, or other types of debt? Once you know where your debt is coming from, you can start to develop a plan to pay it off.
If you have high interest rates on any debts, then paying them off should be the top priority. If you are carrying too much unsecured debt and not enough income to cover the minimum payments on all your debts, consider consolidating them with one low-interest loan or balance transfer credit card.
And if some of your debt is tax deductible (student loans), remember that paying more than the minimum payment on these will help build up deductions for future years when you may be in a higher tax bracket.
5. Create A Budget
Creating a budget is one of the most important steps when it comes to getting out of debt. A budget will help you track your spending and see where your money is going.
It will also help you create a plan to pay off your debt. Here are some tips for creating a budget
- List all of your expenses
- Assign an amount that you can afford to spend on each expense
- Determine what type of savings account or other investment that this amount should be allocated towards
- Put everything else in another category, like credit card debt repayment, or personal goal saving.
You may have to make changes as time goes on, but this gives you a good starting point. Be sure to check in with your budget every month or so.
If you find yourself overspending one month, re-evaluate and try again next month! There’s no shame in trying to get out of debt; the only shame is if you don’t do anything about it.
6. Create An Emergency Fund
One of the best things you can do to get out of debt is to create an emergency fund. This will help you cover unexpected expenses without having to put them on a credit card. To start, try to save up $1,000.
Once you have that saved, you can start working on paying off your debt. A great way to tackle it is by making a budget and sticking with it. Try to pay more than the minimum payment for each month until you’ve paid off what you owe.
Take advantage of any tax refund or bonus check you might receive. Set goals and give yourself rewards when you reach them. Talk to a financial advisor about which debts are worth getting rid of first.
You should also look into refinancing loans or home equity lines if they’re available in your area. Refinancing doesn’t eliminate all of your debt, but it does help you reduce the interest rate and make payments easier.
It’s always good to talk with a financial advisor before doing anything too drastic so that you know exactly what your options are. The key to getting out of debt is patience, discipline, and hard work!
7. Cut Costs On Necessities
One way to save money and pay off debt is to cut costs on your necessities. Take a look at your budget and see where you can cut back on expenses like groceries, transportation, and housing.
You may be surprised how much money you can save by making small changes to your budget. Another way to save money is by refinancing your car loan or student loans. In the past few years, interest rates have gone down significantly so it’s never been easier to find low-interest rates for credit cards or personal loans.
By refinancing these types of debts, you’ll pay less in interest over time and will be able to get out of debt faster.
8. Downsize Your Home
One way to get out of debt is to downsize your home. This means selling your current home and buying a smaller, more affordable one. This can be a difficult decision to make, but it can also be a great way to reduce your monthly expenses and get out of debt more quickly.
You will need to do some research on the costs of both renting and owning a property in your area, so you know what to expect when you sell or buy.
You may even want to rent for a while before deciding if you want to buy. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help: Talking about money can be very uncomfortable, but there are many ways that people can help you pay off your debts.
Sometimes friends and family members offer to loan money to you, other times they might agree to take care of an expense for you every month. Some employers offer programs where they match contributions made by their employees towards retirement plans up to 6% per year.
9. Sell Unused Items
One way to get out of debt is to declutter your home and sell unused items. This can be done by hosting a garage sale, listing items on online marketplaces, or taking items to consignment shops.
Not only will this give you extra money to put towards your debt, but it will also help you declutter your home. There are a variety of options for selling items that you no longer want, so do some research to find the one that works best for you.
10. Utilize All Resources
There are a lot of resources available to help you get out of debt. You can find helpful books, articles, and websites that offer tips and advice.
You can also talk to a financial advisor or counselor. Utilize all of these resources to create a plan that will work for you. If you don’t know where to start, try reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It’s not an easy read but it is worth the time spent. It may be tempting to borrow money from family members or friends but this often ends up causing more harm than good in the long run.
A better option would be to ask your loved ones for some guidance on how they were able to pay off their debts because chances are they have some great insight on what worked for them. Another tip would be if you have extra cash laying around like if you receive tax returns or bonuses just put them towards your debt.
Lastly, keep track of what you spend your money on and make sure your spending habits align with your goals.
11. Make Extra Money
One way to get out of debt is to make extra money.
You can do this by getting a second job, working overtime, or starting a side hustle. If you have some extra money coming in, you can use it to pay off your debts more quickly. Remember that the interest on your credit card might be higher than the rate on an auto loan so if you owe on both, take care of the credit card first.
Speaking of loans, before you go through with a car purchase or other large purchase, find out what the monthly payments will be and see how they fit into your budget.
When you’re shopping for items with lots of warranties and guarantees ask yourself: Do I really need all these bells and whistles? It’s tempting to load up on warranties but sometimes they just aren’t worth it because there are always exceptions and limitations.
12. Don’t Give Up
When you’re in debt, it can feel like you’ll never get out.
But don’t give up! There are plenty of ways to get out of debt, and with a little perseverance, you can be debt-free in no time.
13. Prioritize Repaying The Highest Interest Debts First
You’ll save money in the long run by repaying the debts with the highest interest rates first. Attack your debt with a snowball method by making minimum payments on all debts except the one with the highest interest rate.
Once you’ve repaid that debt, move on to the next highest interest rate debt, and so on. Make minimum payments on all other debts while tackling these higher-interest ones. If possible, pay more than the minimum amount due to reduce the total time it will take to repay your debts and avoid paying more in interest charges over time.
14. Settle for less than you owe
One way to get out of debt is to settle for less than you owe. This means contacting your creditors and negotiating a new, lower payment. Creditors are often willing to accept a lower payment because it is better than getting nothing at all.
Be sure to get the agreement in writing before you make any payments. And know that settling will have negative consequences on your credit score. You may also need to use some of your retirement savings or investments to pay off the settlement amount.
15. Re-examine your budget.
One of the first things you should do when you’re trying to get out of debt is to take a close look at your budget.
This will help you see where your money is going and where you can cut back. You may be surprised to find that you’re spending more than you realized on things that are unnecessary.
A good way to make sure you stay within your budget is by paying with cash instead of using credit cards. If you keep your card in your wallet, it’s harder to spend impulsively, so consider taking it out of there.
If you use cash, it forces you to spend less because there’s only so much money in your wallet.
16. Set Achievable Milestones
One of the best ways to get out of debt is to set small, achievable milestones for yourself. This could mean setting a goal to pay off $50 of debt each month, or only using your credit card for emergencies.
Whatever the milestone is, make sure it’s something you can realistically achieve. Avoid putting yourself in a position where you feel like there’s no way to succeed because this will just lead to discouragement and feeling hopeless.
17. Keep Your Eye On The Prize
It can be easy to look at all the numbers on your balance sheet and become overwhelmed.
Remind yourself that it doesn’t matter how much money you owe as long as you take action every day and slowly chip away at it!