Credit is one of life’s realities these days, and you will probably struggle to find anyone who doesn’t have a debt of some kind, whether it’s small or large. Despite that fact, we shouldn’t be accepting debt as ‘just one of those things that happens in life’, and we should be tackling it head on. There are easier days ahead when you don’t have to shell out half of your salary on paying back what you owe, and whilst there’s no denying you will have to tighten your belt and be strong in the paying it off process, the days past that time are brighter.
Despite that fact, nobody said it would be easy.
Here are three tips to help you rid yourself of debt, and help you move forward to a much more prosperous future.
Make use of 0% credit cards
If you have credit card debt then it’s a good idea to apply for a new card which offers a prolonged 0% interest-free period. No, I’m not suggesting you simply get another credit card for the hell of it, because the whole point is to move your balance from the expensive card, onto the interest-free one, and then set a direct debit up with your bank to pay back a set amount per month, allowing you to pay back the balance before the interest-free period is up. This means you are paying back less in the long run, because you’re actually eating into the balance, rather than paying a little of it back and then paying the rest in interest, which is basically dead money. The only caution with this is to make sure you cancel the old card, so temptation doesn’t creep in.
Be realistic and set yourself a budget
Your debit isn’t going to simply disappear, so you need to put into place a budget to allow you to pay back a decent amount per month, whilst still being able to live. Now, you need to be realistic on this one, because you will still need to pay all your usual outgoings, such as rent or mortgage, travel costs, living costs, food, water, etc, whilst still allowing you to pay a chunk of your debt. Start with the smaller things first, such as a lower balance on a credit card, pay that off and then concentrate on eating into the other larger debts you have. Basically, this is a case of sitting down with a pen, paper, and calculator.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help you if you really need it
There is no shame in asking for help if you really find your debts are too much to handle. Be honest with yourself, and if your budgeting attempts have failed time and time again, and you find your debts spiralling, with no light at the end of the tunnel, then it’s time to find out what your options are. Head to your nearest Citizens’ Advice Bureau, or whatever alternative there is in your country of origin, and you will usually find a specialist debt counsellor to give you honest advice about your situation. There are many options out there, it’s really about finding the right one for you depending on your circumstances and the amount of debt you have.
Debt does not need to be the end sentence it may seem, all it takes is a real push to head towards a debt-free future.