As of 2012, Americans owe $849 billion in credit card debt, $8.03 trillion in mortgages, and $956 billion in student loans. This situation shows no signs of slowing down owing to poor money values that we have as a nation. The advertising industry forces us to spend on things we don’t need and can’t even afford, and this is what the credit card industry capitalizes on.
Achieving debt independence is not an easy task, but it is possible. Below you will learn 10 guidelines that can help you get on your feet in the long-run.
You cannot begin to work towards debt independence without mental preparation. Paying back your liabilities requires a great deal of commitment and diligence on your part. Once you decide to tread this path, commit yourself to stay on it.
Clarify your Aim
You need to be clear about what is it that you plan to achieve. You cannot even take the first step towards debt amortization and financial stability if your goals are not clear. Doing this helps you to stay focused which is highly important because debt repayment can span over a couple of years as well.
Look for Finance
If your income and savings are not enough to pull you out of debt, you will need external help. A debt consolidation loan is a great option if your debt is mostly due to credit card bills.
It is advised that you search multiple options when obtaining finance in order to get a deal that will help you out instead of leaving you in more debt in the end. Devoting some time to view your options will improve your chances of achieving debt independence.
Stop Using Plastic Money
If credit cards are responsible for your debt, quit using them. Of course, this is not easy. But remember why you are in this predicament in the first place. Next time you are tempted to swipe, visualize the perils of debt repayment in your mind. If you are focused enough, you can even find the courage to cut up your credit cards.
Live According to your Income
We have the tendency to spend on things that we can’t afford with cash, but to achieve debt independence you must spend only what you earn. Ideally you should be spending even less than you make. Develop the habit of making a monthly budget where your income should be allotted between necessities, luxuries, and savings.
Learning the art of saving will help you keep away from financial troubles. A good of way to save money is to have your checks deposited directly into your account. In addition, have your monthly bills paid directly from your account. This will keep you from spending more and also save some money on late fees and penalties.
Try to make the most prudent choice, even if it means coming across as a miser. For instance, you can purchase groceries for the week and prepare lunch for work on your own instead of ordering fast food every day.
Cut Back on Fixed Expenses
Some expenses like electricity and cable are regarded as fixed, but you can always bring them down to a certain degree. For instance, use electricity sensibly by turning off the lights when no one is in the room. Moreover, you can cut back on entertainment bills by getting bundles.
Kill the Temptation
When you are at the mall, you are tempted to buy expensive things that you don’t even need. To kill the temptation, try to complete the necessary shopping first and then go towards that item again. Usually, walking away the first time diminishes the attraction.
Finally, remember that debt independence requires a total change in your lifestyle. You should read money management philosophies like Warren Buffet’s rules of success to engrain a healthy spending and saving culture in your house.
So as you see, there are ways in which you can clear your debts. All you need to do is fix your attention on your goal and you will see the results in no time.
Image by StockMonkeys.com / Flickr
Get the FREE Personal Profitability Playbook
Earn more, spend thoughtfully, grow your wealth, and live a better life through mindful personal finance.