How to Become Debt-Free
Credit card bills, student loans and other types of debt plague most people at some point in their lives. Therefore, one of the biggest questions on so many peoples’ minds is, “How can I become debt free?” Well, it won’t happen overnight, but there are some steps you can take to see freedom from debt in your near future.
Once you’ve paid off a little bit of your bill, that doesn’t mean you can just go and spend that amount again. You’ll continue remaining in debt if you don’t curb your spending. Allow yourself a weekly spending budget. Once you go over that amount, you simply must stop spending.
Snowballing is one of the most effective and most frequently recommended methods for reducing debt. Look at your credit cards, and determine which one has the highest interest rate. Let’s say you have three credit cards, and you are able to pay $300 toward your cards each month. On the two with the lower interest rates, pay the minimum amount each month. Imagine that the minimum amount is $50 each, which leaves you with $200 for that third card. Put $200 on the third card, and once that card is paid off, move to the card that has the second highest interest rate. This method will save you money in the long run.
More than Minimum
If you are in a position to pay more than the minimum amount each month, you should absolutely do so! Of course, you may be snowballing your payments, in which case you are already employing this tactic in a sense. However, there are other situations where this piece of advice can apply. Let’s think about student loan payments here. We’ll assume that you owe $500 a month in student loans, and you’ll be paying them off for 15 years. You’re able to put $520 a month toward the loans. Even though it seems as though it’s a small amount, you’ll eventually wind up shaving some of the months off of your payments.
No More Loans
For some people, it’s more difficult to curb the little day to day credit card expenses, whereas others have difficulty with avoiding large loans. The more debt you add to your life, the longer it is going to take for you to pay it off. Are you thinking about leasing or financing a new car? Try to save up more money for a larger down payment, or consider buying a certified pre-owned vehicle if you want the assurance that comes with buying from a dealer. If you’re thinking about returning to school, consider applying for scholarships or attending a state university instead of taking out huge student loans.
Yes, it’s possible to be debt free. Some people become discouraged because the road to freedom from debt is often a long and bumpy one. However, think about how good you will feel when you have that extra money to put into the bank. You’ll feel as though the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders.