Debt, it’s a filthy four letter word that gets tossed around a lot more than most people would like. Yet, many people are swimming in it like beautiful blue water off the coast of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. And for what? Student loans, car payments or frivolous spending? If you’re drowning in debt, here are some tips to tackle it.
Organize a List of Who you Owe
A list and or a chart can help you plainly see your monthly expenses. A simple, but efficient to-do template is the perfect way to organize. Here, you can place all of your credit cards, utility bills and car payments in an organized way, so you can see where all of your hard-earned cash is going. Plus, you can insert all of your other typical expenditures to see where you can cut back to save money. With a to-do list, you can focus on knocking down debt with precision.
What to Look Out For
The vicious minimum payment. At first it might seem like an easy thing to pay right, oh $50 to $100 is doable right, right? Then you keep on using the card and that payment goes up another $40, $50 or $100 dollars and now what was once a walk in the park is becoming a monthly nuisance. It’s hard to hear, but the monthly payment is not your friend. Look to pay what you can afford to knock down your high balance. A tip to the wise is to start with smaller balances and work your way up. Because with the little guys out the way and paid for, you have more capital to use other places.
Evaluate Your Spending
Take a cold, hard and long look at your spending habits. Daily trips to your local coffee shop could be costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars yearly. Another area to look into would be automatically recurring monthly subscription fees. Have you stopped watching your favorite streaming service but continue to shell them out cash? Two or three of these unused services could be costing you, without you realizing it. Try the bare bones approach. Can you live without that $5 cup of java daily? It’s an area that will look different to each and every person but it’s important to evaluate yourself so you can claw your way out of debt.
The Good ol’ Side Hustle
Technology has made it easier to get a little something, something done on the side of your regular 9 to 5 gig. Grocery shopping, tutoring, ridesharing and taking care of pets can be done on the side for some extra cash. Simply choose your favorite and give it a try. The money earned here can be put toward some of your high balance debt, so you can breathe easier. It might not seem like a lot of money, but in the end every little bit does help.
Ask and You Shall Receive
Realistically, you can ask your credit card company for a lower interest rate. What’s it going to hurt to ask, right? They might be willing to work with you, if they see you’re willing to do the right thing. Customer loyalty is in their best interest, so if they can help you with lowering your rates, you might be more likely to stay with them. And if the hard answer is no, then at least you tried.
Trying to knock down debt is much more grueling than creating it, so plan ahead. Work on your debt so it doesn’t take control of your life.