I know what you are thinking, summer is here and usually the new year is a great time to take a look at your finances. Well, if you have debt any time of the year is a great time to say goodbye to debt!
If you have debts you would like to eliminate, there are a few easy steps to take to make it happen. Debt coach’s like myself have been working with consumers for over a decade. I have simple steps for staying on task, taking accountability, and more importantly not stressing about how to get out of debt.
Accountability and Acknowledgement of Debt
First is to acknowledge the amount of debt you have. If you are unaware of the amount, or don’t open the statements and just make the minimum payments, your debt will just take over your life. I teach my clients to set a goal. For example I will commit to double my minimum payments, or I will commit to start with tackling one account first and paying as much as I can. Set a time frame when you resolve to have your accounts at a zero balance. Without goals it’s difficult to achieve success. You may also want to think twice about purchasing something you can’t readily pay off. If you can’t afford it say NO, or at the very least take 24 – 48 hours to think about it.
Create a List
It’s important to properly manage your debts by creating a list of who you owe, how much you owe, and what the current interest rate is. I recommend paying off the highest interest rate card first, even if it’s the highest balance. You may prefer to pay the smallest balance first. Whatever you decide at least your doing something. You can also try and call the bank and ask for a temporary interest rate reduction. Be prepared though as they may close you card while obliging to do so. Ask first. Getting started doing this will help build excitement. It will also allow you to tackle other accounts you may have on your list. Get in control, stick to your goals, and watch what happens month after month!
Budget, Budget, Budget
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a budget. Most people spend without ever even knowing if they can afford it. Worse yet, most people don’t know how much it will cost them over time. Especially after paying interest on their purchases. Set up a monthly budget. Don’t give up everything, that’s no fun. Allow yourself a few minor splurges, like that fancy coffee, or dining out, or even that movie you have been dying to see. Just keep track of how much you are spending, and where the money is going.
That’s right, hiring someone to help set you up on a path for success may not be a bad idea after all. Hey you never know, they just may budget in their services to make it affordable for you.
About the author
Debt Coach, Cindy Campisi, Founder of Instant Settle Consultants, LLC. A Phoenix, Arizona based debt resolution firm has been helping consumers get out of debt for over a decade.