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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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      Published on May 7, 2019

      How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

      How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

      When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

      Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

      Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

      You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

      Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

      1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

      Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

      But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

      • Will you spend more time with your family?
      • What does retirement mean to you?
      • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

      Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

      Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

      2. Figure out When to Invest

      “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

      It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

      The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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      A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

      Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

      3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

      Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

      Why?

      Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

      Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

      Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

      Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

      4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

      Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

      If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

      You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

      1. Vanguard
      2. TD Ameritrade
      3. Charles Schwab

      5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

      Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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      Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

      That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

      Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

      A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

      6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

      The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

      Robo Advisors

      Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

      Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

      Bonds

      Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

      Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

      Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

      1. Treasury bonds
      2. Government bonds
      3. Corporate bonds
      4. Foreign bonds
      5. Mortgage-backed bonds
      6. Municipal bonds

      Mutual Funds

      Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

      One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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      Real Estate

      Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

      Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

      This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

      But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

      Savings Accounts

      Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

      7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

      Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

      So how can you master delayed gratification?

      By building your discipline.

      Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

      Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

      8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

      I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

      It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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      More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

      But, how can you invest yourself?

      Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

      Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

      But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

      Retire Happy with Excess Money

      The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

      It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

      I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

      Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

      One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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      Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

      Reference

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