Here’s an interesting question: in an age where information—and advice—is so freely available, why do so many people still struggle to manage important scenarios in life? Even if your parents didn’t teach you about doing your taxes, washing your whites or growing a garden, you only have to get onto YouTube and you’ll find countless tutorials.
Here’s the answer: the problem is that not all advice is effective.
In the same way many life hacks are disproved when consumers try them, the advice you find about money matters can also be rather flimsy.
So, you need to filter out the advice that sounds ‘nice’, but it’s not practical or realistic. Read on and find a short summary of some of the most effective pieces of advice on becoming debt free.
Accept that it WON’T Happen Overnight
One of the main reasons consumers may give up on very wise plans is that they don’t realize that becoming debt free is a long term commitment. A few habits won’t transform your life within weeks. But you need to think of the benefits of keeping at it for months or even years.
A real life example may put it into perspective: if you apply for debt consolidation or combining small loans into one large one, repayment plans can be discussed for anything between two and five years. That’s a long time; but you’ll appreciate the eventual results.
So, even before you start watching all those YouTube advice videos, decide to commit for the long run. Or the advice won’t help you much.
Relinquish Power Until You Can Trust Yourself
Where you’re sitting now you probably have grand ideas about how you’ll manage your money in the coming month. But it only takes some effective marketing or a stressful day at the office to let you fall into old habits. Perhaps it’s retail therapy and believing that the unnecessary expense is worth it; so your loan repayment can wait until next month.
When you work through financial advice online you’ll often come across tips such as ‘cut up your credit cards’ or ‘be accountable to someone’. Those are wise techniques, but understand the psychology behind it: you shouldn’t have the power to spend money, because your debt is probably proof that you’re not very good at managing spending.
So, relinquish that power! And technology makes it so easy these days. You can automate many monthly payments so you don’t forget about one and you never have to pay interest on late payments again. And yes, cut up those cards before you get into deeper financial trouble, because swiping a card is simply too easy for someone not used to curbing debt yet.
This Process WILL Take Effort
Most people who want to sell you their advice want to tell you how easy it will be. And when it doesn’t turn out that way, that’s when consumers give up.
So, hear the truth today: getting out of debt will take work from you. You can pick one or many of these methods and they WILL help you get out of debt faster. But speed doesn’t mean easy!
- Taking an extra job to pay off debt
- Buying fewer luxuries so you can pay off more than your monthly minimum payment
- Declutter your home, sell of unwanted items and use the money for paying debt, not spending
- Do research about the best interest rates in the current market, because they change all the time. You could pay less on insurance if you switch service providers, but you need to do the research.
So, it’s not only about obtaining financial advice, but WHAT advice you obtain. And then of course success is determined by whether you DO what you’ve LEARNT. After you’ve implemented some of these elements in your life, please share your experience with us in the comments below?