Being in debt is possibly the worst feeling in the world. There’s that constant worry about how you will cope and catch up with the amount you owe. Then there’s the fear of what will happen should you not be able to pay back what you owe quickly enough. There’s the temptation to bury your head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. Being in debt is a complex thing; there’s not just one feeling or worry to battle with, but many.
When you’ve got debts that seem impossible to clear, life can become incredibly stressful. You can end up feeling like no matter what you do; you can’t seem to keep your head above water. Panicking about debt is a horrible feeling and one that far too many of us know all too well. The good news is that getting out of debt doesn’t have to be as hard as you would think. In fact, in just four easy steps you can clear your debts and get your finances back on track.
Step 1 – Calculate what you owe
The first step is to sit down and calculate what you owe to each debtor as well as what you owe overall. This is important to do as unless you know what you owe; you can’t start taking the steps to get debt-free. It might be a shock seeing the total amount that you owe, but try not to panic. With the right help, you can clear any debt amount, no matter how much it might be.
Step 2 – Add up your monthly incoming and outgoings
The next step is to add up what your monthly incomings are, as well as what your outgoings are. This means adding together all household income and then taking away the cost of your expenses. This should include things like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and living expenses. The amount that’s left over is the spare amount you have each month. This is the amount that you can put towards clearing your debts each month.
Step 3 – Consider a debt settlement
Instead of paying off all of your debts in full, consider getting a debt settlement. The idea of a debt settlement (usually part of debt relief loan programs) is that a company buys your debts for a reduced price and then you pay them back on a monthly basis. This means that your debts become lower, as some of the amount that you owe will be knocked off.
There’s so much to learn about debt relief that I can’t possibly talk in depth about it here. If you’re interested, you can find out more about debt settlements and how they work at ReduceMyDebts.com.
Step 4 – Learn to budget
To ensure that you don’t get back into debt again, it’s essential that you learn to budget. This means only spending what you need on essentials and not wasting any money on luxuries. If you want to ensure that you never end up in debt again, you need to be smart about your spending. To learn more about budgeting, check out Lifehacker.com.
So there you have it, four simple steps to take to get out of debt and get your finances back on track.
Getting out of debt is never easy.
Yes, these four steps can take you a long way, but be prepared! The road to implementing it is long and arduous.
What I find really helpful is to paste your goals on a “vision board”. Place it somewhere visible in your house so that you can remind yourself why you’re skipping on a night out on the town, or why you’re buying budget bread and cheap cuts of meat.
For example, you could set your goal to cut your debt down in 2016 by 50%. Put a dollar value to it and really work towards it!
All the best.