Happy New Year Everyone! Time to get those resolutions started – and for many of us this means getting out of debt! With holiday shopping out of the way (and the subsequent credit card bills screaming at us from the mailbox), you can actually get down to business and rein in that spending. This year, start with a plan that you will actually be able to stick to, rather than just casting it aside a few weeks in. The only way to get your debt under control is to tackle it head-on.
Tip #1: Examine. Start by looking over all of your finances – usually not a fun experience – but something that cannot be avoided. In order to start fixing the problem, you have to know what the problem is. Go over all of your bills and make a list of totals owed for each, as well as a grand total (ouch!). This will also help you keep track of monthly bills and can be a great motivator when those totals start to decrease!
Tip#2: Assess and set priorities. Now that you know how much you owe, and to whom, step 2 is to figure out which items are the most important. We are not saying here that you should pick and choose which bills to pay – far from it – but rather which can receive a larger chunk of your monthly income. For example, if you choose to tackle the highest debt first, this may mean making only the minimum monthly payments on smaller cards but a much larger payment on the one with the highest amount owing. Or perhaps interest is the biggest factor, so make that card the priority.
Tip #3: Set a budget. Now that you’ve got the worst part (for most of us) out of the way, it is time to establish a realistic budget. This means taking into account all of your monthly spending and income. Doing this should help you eliminate some of those things that are a tad frivolous, or to limit yourself in those areas that see a lot of unnecessary or out-of-your-budget spending.
Tip #4: Stick to it. Perhaps this may sound easier said than done, but you have to be diligent. Debt isn’t going to go away on its own (chances are pretty high that, if left alone, it will only have the opposite effect). Try to think about ways to keep track every day, and make sure that you are tracking your spending and taking note of decreasing totals.
Tip #5: Can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel – get some help! If you have done these things but still can’t see a way to continually meet minimum payment requirements, stop stressing and get some help. A debt management firm can offer a number of different options to help you get out of debt, including debt consolidation, consumer proposal, or bankruptcy. These opportunities can often mean significant savings as far as interest, and can help you get the debt relief you need to keep your finances afloat.
Getting out of debt can be difficult, but it doesn’t need to be a nightmare. This year, try to stay strong and keep to that resolution. DebtCare can help – call us today at 1 (888) 890-0888.