The holidays have passed. The next money-spending month is still far away. Today is tomorrow, and today is the day that you take the first step to escaping debt in 2018. Let’s face it, the financial burden of being in debt sucks.
But the problem is it seems impossible to escape.
Almost 73-percent of American consumers pass on, with debt still clinging to their name. That’s now how you want to live, right?
What if we told you, that it is not impossible. Although, it may be hard – we are going to give you 5-actionable steps that you can take to get out of debt this year.
Let’s Start With Your Expenses
One in seven Americans has a student loan they are trying to pay off. Another 107 million Americans have a car title loan against their name. Now we add in monthly expenses such as rent/mortgage, utility bills, and insurance.
Then we still have to worry about the daily expenses.
Trying to balance all of this on one paycheck seems impossible. But, you got this!
The first thing you want to do is start tracking your expenses. There are plenty of mobile apps to help you do this accurately. Now that you know where your money is going, we can get to the important stuff.
What Are Your Priority Payments?
You may think that your rent, groceries, and one or two loans are priority payments.
The expenses that you really want to worry about are the ones with insane interest rates. Do a debt analysis to determine which loans, mortgages, or expenses in general expenses will cost the most in the long-run.
These are the debts that you want to focus on paying off first. The others are still important, and you want to ensure regular payments. But pay just a bit more to the higher interest debt.
Have Less – Spend Less
We are always working our buts off for that next raise. The next promotion. The next X.
The problem is the vicious cycle of income and expense. Have you ever noticed the more you earn, typically, the more you spend?
Which is why you really want to get some kind of budget in place. Don’t worry – I know. Budgets blow.
But at the same time, it clearly shows you where your money is being spent. Which helps keep your money conscious when buying something you know you don’t necessarily need.
If you really want to ensure that you get out of debt in 2018, here’s an idea. Set up automatic debiting for your loans, and your expenses. That way, you will think you are making the same amount. Meanwhile, more money is being allocated to your debts each month – helping you pay them off just that much quicker.
Don’t Swipe If You Don’t Need To
Personally, this is one I hate. Cards are made for a reason, right? But the problem is continuous swiping on your credit card can lead to some insane fees. Which is why it’s a great idea to set a rule in the stone. This rule should be to use cash unless a card is needed.
Typically, I like to have a $20 threshold. That means if the receipt is lower then $20, I pay cash. I found that this reduces my month carry over on the credit card – making it just that much easier to pay off quickly.
A great way to go about this, withdraw a certain amount of cash that you know you will blow on groceries or entertainment for the week.
Keep this on you, and whenever you need to pay for a bill, instead of racking up costs on your card – pay cash, and reduce your debt just that little bit.
After all, at the end of the day – every penny counts when you are trying to save money and get out of debt in 2018.
Make Sure You’re Getting The Most Out Of Your Salary
For those that are struggling with debt, you may be facing something known as wage garnishment. Essentially, this is when your monthly paycheck is automatically debited for child support, taxes, or something similar.
Which just contributes to the mounting debt you are trying to pay off.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are steps that you can take to protect yourself from wage garnishment.
Another important note, if things are really bad, declaring bankruptcy is not necessarily a mistake.
In some cases, declaring bankruptcy has actually been the turning stone for debt, and a way to open up debt-free credit building. Meaning over-time, your credit record will gradually improve, and in the long-run, you will be on a better financial standing.