Six Simple Ways To Get Debt Free And Stay That Way
For the most part the number zero gets a bad rap – no one wants zero of anything. But, when you’re talking about debt that’s a whole different story!
Debt free living can feel like an impossibility if you’re falling behind or have already fallen behind on your bills. But, there’s still ways to become debt free. We’re going to talk about a few ways you can achieve debt free living easily. These tried and true tips can change the way you’re living and even save your health by alleviating some of the stress, while saving your bank account, and teaching you to be debt free — and stay that way.
Let’s dig in and count them down:
6. Tackle your minimum payments, and then some.
If your goal is to be debt free in a year then you’ll want to start with your credit cards. The majority of high rate credit cards will give you an interest rate near 25%. When you fail to meet your minimum payments you end up racking up huge interest charges. In order to forego these interest charges and actually make a dent in your credit bills you need to pay more than your minimum payment. This is the way that they “get you” by hoping that you don’t pay the entire bill each month and only pay the minimum. Before you know it you are paying way more than you wanted to pay for that lunch or pair of shoes. Focus on the cards with the highest interest rates first and then move on down the line. You won’t feel like you are making a debt toward being debt free right away, but over time you’ll definitely see the difference.
5. Look at your budget and make adjustments
The easiest way to become debt free in a year is by looking at your budget and making adjustments, as needed. Don’t have a budget? Check out my 6 Ways To Start A Successful Budget Plan. Lay out all of the expenses from last month in front of you. You might be surprised to see how much that small coffee and a bagel every morning add up to in the long run. Look through your budget and find anything that you can easily cut out. With the money you’ll save you can attack your credit card bills even more. You can also click here to get your free printable Monthly Budget Worksheet.
4. Negotiate with your credit card company.
Credit card companies don’t actually want you running out of money. They want you to continue making your minimum monthly payment every single month. So, it is in their best interest to be flexible and help you with solutions to stay on track. Call your credit card companies that you have great records with, ideally having never missed a payment, and see if you can negotiate down your interest rates. Sometimes they are willing to drop your rates or offer alternative solutions. It sounds like a chore, but a phone call could be the difference in thousands of dollars over the span of your credit card debt. If you want to learn how to be debt free, you’ll have to learn to ask for what you need. The worst that can happen is the credit card issuer says no.
3. Install a budget tracking application.
We are living in the future and the majority of us have a smartphone as a result. Most smartphones are application-friendly which means that you are only a few clicks away from installing budget tracking software right onto your mobile device. There are countless budget tracking applications out there that are made to keep you on track with your finances. Use these budget tracking applications to help you get familiar with your spending habits, stop your bad purchases, and save more money overall!
2. Use a balance transfer.
Not all credit cards and credit card companies are created equal. If you have a credit card with high interest and want to work at chopping away at your payments then consider using a balance transfer. There are a variety of different credit card companies that offer limited time 0% interest fees on balance transfers. It may seem like the opposite of a good idea to open another credit card, but if you know you can pay off the balance you are transferring then this could save you a ton of money.
1. Increase your income.
This one is something many of us avoid at all costs, because it involves what we feel is confrontation, and we don’t like that – and we don’t like being told no. The best way to get rid of your debt and stay debt free is to earn more money. There are many ways to accomplish this:
- Approach your boss with a presentation showing how you deserve a raise.
- Turn to a freelancing gig that utilizes your talents.
- Work a seasonal job for the time it takes to pay off your credit card.
Any of these options will have you on the fast track to debt free living.
What tips can you share with us on this subject? Please leave them in the comments below!