40 Tips To Avoid (And Manage) Being In Debt

40 Tips To Avoid (And Manage) Being In Debt - debt prison image

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If you find yourself in debt, or are heading in that direction – it’s not a nice feeling. The stress of debt can have a huge impact on your daily life and how you live it.

Luckily, there are plenty of tips that you can add to your lifestyle that will prevent this from happening. Some may be better suited to you than others, so have a read through and see what works best for you.

  1. Use cash for all your purchases instead of your credit card. Leave that to pay for your house and your car.
  2. When you get paid every month, put away 60% of your earnings into a savings account, and keep the 40% to do with what you wish.
  3. Make a proper spreadsheet with all your monthly payments including your bills, grocery shopping, interest amounts, etc., and make a total of all your balance. Then you can see exactly what you owe, what you have, and what you need.

Update it every month as you start paying off more and more.

  1. Every time you get a little extra money coming in, put it into your emergency fund so you can use it to pay off debt.
  2. Speak to a credit counselor and look at websites like DebtSolutionsReviewed’s review for more information and advice. You may learn how to make a plan of action (and stick to it!)
  3. Don’t use your credit card to get through the next month’s paycheck. If you do this, you will just get further into debt.
  4. Don’t pay off too much of your debt at one time. Make sure that you still have enough for your weekly expenses without starving yourself.
  5. Don’t eat out in fancy restaurants, or order takeout. Cook your own meals with the food that’s in your cupboards, fridge, and freezer.
  6. If you’re bored, invite friends over or go to their house and entertain yourself that way. You don’t have to splash the cash on nights out to have fun.
  7. Don’t ever use your emergency account to pay off your credit cards – that defeats the whole point of having one. – Pretend like it’s not there.

 

  1. If you know you have expenses coming up in the near future, make a note of them on a calendar so you won’t be surprised when you need to pay for them.
  2. Give yourself a budget to live off every week. Try your best at paying the absolute minimum on everything you purchase, like the brand of chips you by – get the stores own instead.
  3. If you’re living with your other half, make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to money.
  4. If you know you have bad spending habits, find a way to manage them. Don’t go cold turkey – that will most likely make you splurge even harder. Instead, give yourself a limit.
  5. Stay focused, no one said it was going to be easy. Paying off debt is very stressful, especially when you realize it isn’t going to happen overnight. But as long as you know that it won’t last forever, and pay attention to the number going down – you will get through it.

 

  1. Stop it! If you find a good enough excuse to buy the new iPhone, even if the phone you have now works perfectly fine, and you’re $30,000 in debt – question what your goal really is.
  2. If one technique isn’t working for you, don’t use that as an excuse to give up – find a new technique! There are so many out there.
  3. Change your behavior and attitude if you know that it is the thing causing you to overspend. One way to do this is to distract yourself by something other than spending – like playing music or working out.
  4. If you’ve been in debt for the last three years, be realistic when it comes to paying it all off. It will most likely take you longer than three years to pay it all back.
  5. Although you need to budget your lifestyle, it is still important to have a social life and get out of the house once in a while to decompress a little. You don’t want to end up not enjoying life just because of your financial situation.
  6. What is necessary? Do you need the sports channel? Do you need all that data on your cell phone? Do you have to buy the expensive brand of ice cream?

If it’s not a necessity – get rid of it for now. You’re just wasting precious money.

  1. Get creative when it comes to doing things around the house and in your personal life. If you feel like you need some new clothes for the summer for example, don’t go out and buy a new wardrobe, instead find creative ways to cut up and sew your clothes, turning them into something awesome.
  2. Don’t keep borrowing money – that’s how you got in this situation to begin with. Stop the credit cards, stop the car loans, stop the home equity lines, and so on. If you know you can’t afford something with the cash that you have in your wallet – you can’t afford it at all.
  3. If there’s something that you really want, save up the money like everyone has to do, and when you have it, buy it with cash. By the time you have actually saved up for what you wanted, it will feel so much more gratifying when you buy it. Or, you may not even want it anymore.
  4. Use an app or download a software specifically designed to track your spendings, and split everything up into different categories. Not only is this efficient, but it will make it easier to see where your problem areas are.
  5. Give yourself some wiggle room, as you never know what life is going to throw at you. Always be prepared for the minor setbacks.
  6. Unsubscribe from all the alerts and notifications you get sent about your favorite online stores. They will only persuade you to pay for things you don’t need – all while making you think it’s okay because it’s on offer. – Don’t fall for it.

 

  1. Downsize where you’re living. If it’s bigger than what you need, you may be paying more than you should, so move into somewhere smaller.
  2. Figure out what drives you to save up. This may be your children or your passion. Whatever it may be, think about that whenever times get hard to remind yourself of why you’re doing this.
  3. If you know you have a raise coming up, make a note of it and use all of the extra earnings to pay off your debt.
  4. Don’t see money as something that is for spending. For example, if you plan to buy a brand new flat screen tv, calculate how many hours it took you to work for the amount of money it is. You may realize that a tv isn’t worth all of that hard work you’ve been doing over the last few weeks.
  5. Learn about the alternatives instead of assuming that we have to pay the asking price – 90% of the time, it’s not the only option you have. Get a second-hand oven, shop at charity shops and cycle to work.
  6. Figure out whether you’re buying things because you actually need them, or if you’re just paying for them because everyone else is.
  7. Don’t think about your debt – think about your wealth. Don’t tell yourself you are trying to get out of debt. Instead, think of it as your current financial situation that is contributing to your overall wealth. Now you’ll see it as a positive, rather than a negative.
  8. Start by paying off the smallest debt first, that way you get the ball rolling, and it may be the ‘pick me up’ you need to show you that it is possible to do it.

 

  1. Understand that you will have to make sacrifices if you want to pay your debt off – it’s just part of the game. As long as you’re willing to do so, you will get through it.
  2. Write yourself a note that says “DO I ABSOLUTELY NEEEEED THIS???!!!!! And stick it in your wallet next to your cash.
  3. Get supermarket fliers with all the offers on, and use that to plan your weekly grocery shop. Look at all the things that are on promotion, and use them to make your meals.
  4. Plant seeds in your garden and use them to grow your own tomatoes, peas, potatoes, herbs and more. You will, in time, be able to use what you have to live a sustainable life. If you don’t have a garden, you can keep some pots by your windowsill in the kitchen.
  5. Just think about the feeling you will get when you have paid everything off. – Freedom! Just imagine it.

 

So as you can see, there are tons of tips and tricks to avoid, (or manage) being in debt. Put as many in use as you can, and see what works best for you. Keep trying until you find your ‘way’.

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