5 Strategies for Managing Debt

Sometimes finances can spin out of control either before your very eyes or so fast you don’t have time to realize it.  Finances are tricky and fickle and elusive –especially for those who do not have a good handle on money, the economy, or investing.  And to top it all off, finances can be a taboo subject, therefore making it even more difficult to know which road is the best road for your situation.

People don’t know how to discuss finances, let alone managing debt –these are awkward conversations often avoided.  Sure, you can hire an expert who charges per hour to envision a savings plan that will remove you from a debt cycle or you can consult a friend who works at a bank or in some financial institution, but none of that ensures that you will be any closer to a debt free lifestyle.  The truth is, managing debt is your responsibility and if you learn some simple strategies you can be on your way to a life minus the money matters that produce major headaches.

  1.   Stop Spending

We are all guilty of buying stuff we don’t need, buying too much, or buying therapy.  All of this must stop today.  If you don’t absolutely need to live, don’t buy it.  If you already have the item you are coveting, don’t buy it.  If you want to buy something to make you feel better, don’t buy it.  Buying, like any other habit, can become a compulsion and an addiction.  You have to kick this habit.

  1.   Destroy Credit Cards

This is when debt can become a full-blown thunderstorm –when we still have access to credit cards which either allow us to spend outside of our earnings or allow us to fuel an addiction.  Cut them up today.  If you don’t have the means to make a purchase, then it’s not meant to be yours.  And if you really want to manage your debt, you have to stop purchasing items on credit –using your credit card is what is keeping you in the debt cycle you so desperately want to escape.

  1.   Save 10%

It can be tough at first, taking a portion of your earnings and putting it aside for a rainy day, but it’s a smart decision that will have rewarding outcomes.  If the rainy day comes, you will have prepared for it meaning you won’t have to ask friends/family for help and you won’t have to go on a loan hunt.  You can have some financial freedom and feel proud knowing you did this on your own.  With direct deposit you can opt to have a percentage go into your checking account and another go into your savings.  If you don’t have direct deposit or a bank account, ask a trustworthy family member or friend to cash your check and withhold 10%.

  1.   Side Jobs

Sure, taking on another job is tough with an already full schedule, but if you are to manage your debt and really leave the cycle –well, this is a really helpful option.  Find something you can do from home, preferably.  Perhaps fixing electronics or sewing even cooking, there are a number or small side jobs you can employee that will bring in a few extra bucks a month.  That money should be saved, saved, saved.

  1.   Debt Consolidation

While this is the last resort, it can be helpful to many.  Debt consolidation companies manage the debt you already have by offering you one monthly payment rather than several.  For many, this option is helpful and gives them a sense of accomplishment.  For others, this only makes their debt cycle feel even bigger.  You decide, of course, but this can help some eliminate debt from their lives.

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