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Being in a debt cycle that seems to be never-ending can make you feel defeated. As tiring as dealing with financial issues can be, you absolutely should not give up and let this feeling win. In order to successfully move on from debt, you will need to practice patience because it takes time and strategy. Here are five steps to get you started on your journey out of debt:
1. Talk to a professional to map out a plan
Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to work everything out on your own. There is free assistance available to help people get out of debt. Debt solutions professionals have a lot of experience in dealing with difficult circumstances, providing the right support without judgment, and negotiating with creditors. So, make use of this by booking yourself a session. You’ll come out of it with a workable budget and an affordable arrangement with your creditors.
2. Actively monitor your expenses
This doesn’t need to be too dramatic or be something you think about every single day. In fact, you may want to avoid that extra stress! Monitoring your expenses should be a habit you nurture every on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This is just to keep an eye on your outgoings and make sure you’re aware of where all your money is going.
If you are paying excessive fees you weren’t aware of, get incorrectly charged, or are being debited for things you no longer use or recognize, you can act fast to get them waived and prevent further financial damage.
3. Reconsider and re-negotiate all your bills
Now that your debt solutions professionals have helped you renegotiate your terms with your creditors, it’s up to you to do the same with your utility and entertainment billers. Prioritize paying off any overdue accounts first. Then, do a price comparison with all your private service providers, including energy, gas, TV and entertainment, and your phone and internet accounts.
You will almost always find a cheaper provider for these competitive industries. Quote the cheaper rate to your current provider and ask if they can match it. This will work in your favor because either they’ll do it so they can keep your business, or they won’t so you can switch to the cheaper service!
4. Tweak your shopping list
You don’t need to compromise your health by cutting your grocery spending. Essential items should be everything that allows you to live your regular lifestyle as healthily as possible. Instead, you should be focused on ditching gratuitous spending.
Keep your shopping list on your phone so that you can see it and tick off listed items when you’re at the store. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry as it is linked to spending more money, and avoid saying ‘yes’ to unnecessary upgrades.
5. Say ‘no’ to recreational shopping
Your budget can include some room for recreation. After all, you are going to be in this game for the long-run, so it’s better to give yourself some treat money than to impulse-buy something really expensive.
However, shopping should not be thought of as a hobby. Constantly buying new, unnecessary items is unsustainable and will set you back in your debt recovery. If you really enjoy retail environments, swap to window shopping and going for walks in the mall with your friends or family.
It won’t happen overnight, but by taking each of the above steps and remaining positive, you will overcome debt sooner than you think!