Your 6 Month Plan for Escaping Debt
5 Steps to Getting Back in the Black
Being snowed under by spiralling debt is everyone’s worst nightmare. It can often seem like you have no way out, and things can only get worse. Overwhelming levels of personal debt don’t just accrue over night. After months, maybe years, of irresponsible spending; debt always hits hard when you least expect it to.
That’s the thing with debt.
It can take a long time to accumulate, and an even longer rime to erase.
In today’s unstable financial economy, it can be a challenge to get debt free.
A challenge, but one that is possible and certainly worth taking up.
5 Steps to Getting Debt Free
If you’re serious about getting debt free, you need to start taking action today. It can be a tough road with a number of compromises needed, but getting back in the black is possible. Minimizing, or getting rid of debt altogether, will help alleviate a lot of your unnecessary stress.
Here we offer up a five point plan to help you escape debt in 6 months. However, this advice is just that – advice. It may not work for everyone, and if you’re really snowed under you should seek personalised, professional advice:
Before you can take steps to getting debt free, you need to analyse the extent of the problem. Looking at each debt at a time – your overdrafts, bank loans, credit cards, and more included – you’ll be able to see exactly how much money you owe and to who.
While this can be a horrible experience, you need to know exactly how big your debt problem is. You may have debts you had completely forgotten about, or may not be as deep in debt as you thought. Once you know an exact figure, you can set about implementing a debt relief plan.
After carefully analysing your debt, you need to prioritise your repayments. Are you already being hit with late payment and interest charges for any loans? If so, pay these off right away. The loans with the biggest interest rates should be your priority, to avoid heading further into debt.
Alternatively, you could choose to pay off your smaller debts first. As they are for less sums of money, you may be able to clear these right away. This can already minimise the problem, and brighten the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
It can be possible to consolidate all of your debts into a single monthly repayment. This means you don’t have to keep track of various repayment dates. By paying off a single sum, you won’t be left strapped for cash for long periods. Paying off your debts in this way however, can take much longer as you have more money to pay off. Where possible, pay large lump sums to reduce your costs.
If consolidation isn’t an option for you, it’s time to get serious. Cut up all your credit cards so you’re not tempted to spend, and try and transfer multiple accounts with one bank into a single account. This will have an impact on the way you live for a few months, but will help you learn to spend – without relying on credit.
4. Change your Payment Dates
When consolidating your debt isn’t a viable option, you should make sure you change your repayment dates. With dates spread out all over the month, you run the risk of being spent out when it comes to repaying. This is where debt gets worse. By failing to keep on top of existing debts, interest rates and late fees push the costs higher and higher.
By setting all your repayment dates to a single date, or a few you’ll remember, you can make sure you always pay on time. Many people choose to have their repayment date as their payday. This means that the money goes out as soon as you get paid. Everything that’s left is yours to spend. And if payday looms and you’ve still got some left? Pay off a lump sum.
5. Sensible Spending
Whilst following a debt-free plan, you have to make compromises. Impulse spending will have to be eased, or stopped altogether, to free up some funds to pay off the debt. Choosing the supermarket own brand over branded labels can also save you a great deal of money.
You could also look into walking to work if possible, taking lunch to work instead of buying it there, and making a coffee at work rather than buying one on route. While these are daily luxuries we’ve become accustomed to, escaping debt it more important.
Keeping all your receipts and checking your monthly outgoings is a great way to see where you could save some extra money. If you’re struggling to combat crippling debt, you should always speak to a financial advisor. They will be able to give you professional advice, tailored to your individual needs. Getting debt free won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Clare Evans is an online copywriter, specialising in all aspects of personal and business finance. She is currently writing articles for paydayagency.co.uk