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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

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      Published on September 17, 2018

      How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

      How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

      Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

      With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

      So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

      1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

      It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

      You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

      So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

      2. When you want something big, wait

      Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

      It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

      We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

      A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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      So, you get the itch.

      You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

      Here’s where you have to take a step back.

      Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

      Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

      It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

      The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

      3. Live smaller than you can afford

      You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

      You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

      That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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      Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

      Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

      The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

      But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

      4. Practice smart grocery shopping

      Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

      But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

      Create a grocery budget

      Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

      Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

      I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

      Make a list… and never deviate

      Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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      You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

      These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

      Eat before going grocery shopping

      It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

      If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

      After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

      Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

      However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

      This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

      5. Cancel your gym membership

      Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

      The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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      Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

      I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

      Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

      Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

      For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

      Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

      There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

      It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

      I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

      Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

      The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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