Polishing the Professional

Eliminating Debt

Are you overwhelmed by debt? If so, you need to read this article. It will help you get back on the road to financial freedom. Regardless of how far you’ve gone off the rail, you can get yourself out of debt with the right plan.

Below are a few strategies to reduce your debt:

1. Buy what you need and what you can afford. To keep from accumulating mounds of debt, purchase what you need only and what you can afford. Don’t let our emotions get the best of you, that you end up splurging on over-priced high-end items. If it is something you need, exercise patience and take your time and save for it. If you save for it and still need it, then buy it. Operating with this mindset, you will realize the following:

• You will realize that you either really didn’t need it and only purchase items you need.
• Your debt will continue to shrink, and you will not have debt piling up on top of you by staying within budget and paying off your bills every month.
• You can still get out of debt and feel the sweet relief of being debt-free by changing your mindset from “having it now” to one of enjoying it even more, when you have the money

2. Snowball your debt. The debt snowball method involves making minimum payments on all debt, then paying off the smallest debts first before moving on to bigger ones. The debt avalanche method can result in paying less interest over time but requires discipline. If you have a credit card with a balance of only a couple hundred dollars, it helps to get rid of that one right away. It will help you to feel like you’ve made progress.

• You can eliminate a whole payment, save on interest charges, and put that money towards another bill.

3. Pay off the highest interest rates first. In the long run, paying off bills with the highest interest rates will help you save money. It’s hard to get rid of debt with a high interest rate because when you pay a small amount or just the minimum, most payments go to the interest and not the deficit. Getting rid of the higher interest rate debts first, you’ll feel like you are making significant progress.

4. Consolidate. Having multiple lines of credit used and credit cards maxed to the limit can be overwhelming. A great way to deal with this type of issue is to have your debt consolidated. To do this, you can take out a loan from your bank or another lender to pay the debt or transfer all the debt to another card with a lower interest rate. Then your payments will be to one company. Your payment is likely to be lower, and you will only have to focus on paying one bill.

• If you get a new credit card with a great introductory rate, you can transfer your balances to that account and take advantage of the low or no initial rate. Be careful, sometimes the low introductory rate is followed by a very high-interest rate.
• You can pay off several of the cards and reduce the number of creditors you have to pay each month by taking out a loan. It is less stressful when you only have to deal with one or two lenders instead of several bill collectors.

5. Start using cash only. One of the best ways to keep yourself in debt in the first place is to pay with money. Set yourself a budget, and when you exhaust your budget, you can’t buy anything else. Stop using your credit cards. They are a sure way to get yourself back into debt.

• Small purchases can add up quickly, and before you realize it, you’re back in debt. At first, a small purchase does not seem like much, but enough minor credit cards charges here and there will equal a mound of debt. 
• Paying with cash will help you develop new spending habits. You will have developed discipline by the time you’ve paid down your debt. You will be so proud that you don’t want to get in that situation ever again!

One time or another, we all have gotten into a bit of financial trouble regardless of our income level.  People with a lot of money get into trouble just as people with limited income. In either situation, you can get yourself out of debt with a lot of discipline and a great plan.

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