A good fraction of the general population is in debt. We can blame it on the bad economy, on the corrupt officials or even the bad weather. The bottom line is… people still owe someone money.
You don’t have to live your whole life scrimping and saving each dollar. That is no way to live. Here are 5 easy tips to live debt-free.
1. Do the math
How much do you EARN every month? How much do you SPEND every month? These are 2 extremely salient questions to tackle, to avoid incurring added loan, avoid spending more than what you’re earning. Don’t forget to leave room for savings, as well.
Saving for your emergency fund is a must. Being prepared will help you avoid taking out fast cash loans with shocking interest rates.
2. Live within your means
Make a monthly budget that includes an allowance for rent, utilities, groceries, leisure activities and savings. Write this down and place it in places where you can see them. Stick to your budget and don’t waver. Anything that doesn’t fit your budget is a No-No.
It might be difficult during the first few weeks, but you’ll soon adjust to the change.
3. Back to basics
Don’t be depressed with all the self- imposed restrictions. Just because, you’re spending less, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Try to go back to the basics. Instead of spending $10 watching a movie, watch it at home instead. Not only do you save on tickets, you also saved on popcorn, gas and travel time, as well!
Be creative. There are a lot of fun things to do without having to spend too much cash. Learning to enjoy the basic things in life is a good practice you can teach your kids someday. Check out different ways to have fun on a budget. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can come up with.
4. Get the worst over and done with
With your extra savings, pay off the loan with the highest interest and the penalty rate. This will substantially reduce your monthly expenses. If you maxed out a credit card, try calling the bank for leniency. Some banks are willing to reduce their interest and penalty fees if you pay them fast enough.
Don’t stop there. Keep paying all your loans gradually until you’re debt-free. If you’re having a difficult time managing your loans and their high interest rates, you might want to look in on the option of debt consolidation.
5. Make it a habit
Even if, you’re debt- free, don’t stop practicing these steps. Doing so will help keep you out of debt for the many years to come. If you have more than a little money to spare, invest it in your retirement plan or in bonds. Put your savings to good use. Spend wisely and you’ll reap the benefits ten folds.
Living a life free of debt is as easy as pie if you know the basics and practice it. It’s about awareness and self- control. If you feel you have a weakness for expensive things- walk away from it, keep temptation at bay by chopping off your credit cards. Practice using a debit card instead to help you keep track of your finances. Cheers!