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6 Tips That Can Help You Get Out Of Debt

6 Tips That Can Help You Get Out Of Debt

A lot of people don’t think that being in debt is a terrible thing. They think of it this way until they find themselves in debt without any options of getting out of it. Most people actually become indebted because of this attitude.

Fearing debt is a good thing — it keeps you in check. Things happen so quickly and before you know it, you can find yourself caught up in a difficult situation. If you didn’t have the right mindset before, when you really should have taken action to avoid the mess you’re in now, then it’s time to change your attitude and get back on track.

Don’t be scared; this happens to a lot of people and you are not the first nor the last person trying to get out of debt. There are many of us who have gone through the same thing, and if others could get out of it, why shouldn’t you?

There is no time for fooling around and you must start working on this issue seriously. It’s not going to be easy, but then again, nothing worthwhile comes easy.

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1. Create a plan

The first thing you need to do is sit down and look at all the numbers. See how much you are spending, where you are spending it, how much you are earning, and come up with a plan based on all the numbers. You can even see where you can save money by just looking at your budget.

Who knows? Maybe you subscribed to something a while ago and forgot about it since it didn’t mean anything to you back then, but now this money can be used for paying off your debt on a monthly basis. See if you have any unnecessary costs you can cut and come up with an amount you can afford to pay off each month.

Once you set this, you should make sure to stick to it and never neglect your plan. One of the most important factors when trying to get out of the debt is not to get demotivated. When you set monthly goals, you will achieve mini-victories and encourage yourself even further.

2. Pay off your high-interest debts first

If you have credit cards or some other form of debt that has high interest rates, you should look to pay them off first. Interest rates will pile up over time and the longer you wait, the more money you will lose. Pay them off as quickly as possible and improve your credit score as you start to get your finances back on their feet.

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3. Prepare your food by yourself

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    One of the first steps is to start saving up and, depending on the amount of debt you have, drastic measures might be required. This doesn’t mean that you won’t eat or that you will be forced to eat unhealthy foods. On the contrary, you can eat solid, healthy foods for a cheaper price than at restaurants or fast food joints.

    Get simple ingredients and cook decent meals. Set aside some time for preparing your food and you are good to go. When you buy pre-prepared food, you also pay for the service of preparing the meal for you — you do this yourself and cut those costs. There are many recipes for cheap and tasty meals you can find as well, so that your stomach can enjoy itself while you pay off your debt.

    4. Find a second job

    Times are hard, and if you are really that desperate and in a hurry to pay off your debt, you can find an additional part-time job that can earn you extra cash. Besides saving up money, it is also important to earn more, and you can do this by putting in additional work at your current job and working overtime or by working two jobs at the same time. Everyone has some skills or talents and you can try and monetize yours, no matter if we are talking about teaching English online, writing, babysitting, delivering packages, etc.

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    Anything you can find will mean a lot to you, especially if you get a job at a restaurant where you can get free food as well. It won’t be too fresh, but it’s still healthy food and you won’t pay a dime for it. There are a lot of people who have two jobs just because they want to advance in their careers, and if they can do it, why shouldn’t you try this method as well to save yourself from a financial disaster?

    5. Sell the stuff you don’t really need

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      Another way you can quickly earn some cash is to sell some of your stuff. Most people have a lot of stuff just laying around. We don’t really need this stuff to live our lives, and we just cling to it, hoping that we will do something with it in the future. Well, this is a good opportunity to do something with this stuff — sell it and help yourself get out of debt quickly.

      If you live in a suburban neighborhood, you can set up a garage sale. This is usually the quickest and the cheapest way you can sell a bunch of stuff without having to put in a lot of work and time. If not, you can sell stuff online on various marketplaces. This may seem like a long shot to you, but trust me when I tell you that no matter how much something may seem uninteresting to you, to somebody else, it might be the thing they were waiting for their whole life.

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      6. Move back in with your parents

      If you are still single and you don’t have a family, a good move is to try and move back in with your parents for a while (if they let you). This will give you the option to use that rent money for your monthly payments and speed up the process even further. Your parents might even offer you a meal from time to time — nothing wrong with that. Of course, you will have to listen to them give you lectures about your life and where you went wrong, but hey, this time it seems like they have the right.

      Try out these hacks and I guarantee that you won’t regret it. Like I mentioned before, this is no game and you will have to take your debt seriously if you want to deal with it as quickly as possible. No matter what type of debt is burdening you, there is a way out of it. You just need to work hard and take responsibility for your actions. Do not even think about getting a loan to pay off your old debt — it is an endless loop of interest rates and you will make it even harder on yourself.

      Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on September 2, 2020

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

      In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

      4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

      Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

      2. Keep Goals Realistic

      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

      3. Account for Inflation

      Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

      Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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      4. Short Term Vs Long Term

      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

      By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

      How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

      • Ensuring healthy savings
      • Making smart investments

      You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

      Ensuring Healthy Savings

      Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

      1. Track Expenses

      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

      Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

      If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

      2. Pay Yourself First

      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

      The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

      Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

      Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

      Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

      4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

      Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

      • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
      • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
      • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

      The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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      5. Talk About It

      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

      Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

      6. Maintain a Journal

      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

      If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

      Making Smart Investments

      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

      1. Consult a Financial Advisor

      Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

      2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

      Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

      As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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      3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

      Einstein once remarked about compounding:

      “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

      Use compound interest when setting financial goals

        Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

        Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

        4. Measure, Measure, Measure

        All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

        If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

        Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

        The Bottom Line

        Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

        and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

        More Tips on Financial Goals

        Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

        Reference

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