Category: Debts

Five Steps to Paying off Your Debt

If you have debts, it is likely that you wish that you did not have them and would like a plan to pay them off. It is possible to get out of debt, but it will be hard work.

This is why the first tip is all about motivation. You need to think hard about why you want to get out of debt and how you will feel once you are clear of debt. List the advantages and keep a list handy. When you feel demotivated, like you are struggling due to having to put so much time and effort into repaying the debt remind yourself of why you are doing it. Also remember to look back at how well you have done and use that to spur you on to continue to do well. It can be wise to put your goal of being debt free on a card and stick it somewhere you look at every day. This could be on your bathroom mirror, fridge, desk, computer or somewhere else and make sure that you read it so that every time you make a spending decision, you will remember what your main focus and goal is.

You need to start by gathering all your financial information. Take a look at what debts you have, who they are to and how much for. This can be very difficult to do and it is not surprising that many people do not want to do this. However, you need to take a look at this so that you can start to plan repaying. It is a huge step and it could make you feel a lot better, just to know that you are facing up to your debt even before you put a plan in place as to how you are going to repay it.

You need to come up with a plan on which debt you will repay first. Some people like to look at the costs of the debts and pay the dearest one back first. This makes sense financially as you will pay less money out in fees for having the debt. However, some people would rather pay off the smaller debts first. Then they get the motivation of having cleared some debt fairly quickly and that motivates them to carry on. Some people find certain debts deserve to be paid back quicker. Perhaps they may owe money to family which they feel should be paid back more quickly or that certain debts just feel worse to them than others. Have a think yourself and come up with an idea.

Once you have found out what you owe, decided which to repay first and got yourself motivated you actually need to find the money to repay. This may seem like the hardest bit but actually it may not be. You may find that there are lots of ways that you can cut down your spending so that you can put extra towards repaying the loans. Having collected together all of your paperwork previously you will be able to use it to make a list of how much money you spend and what on. Look at every item and see if you can spend less. You will not be able to spend less on tax but most other things you will be able to compare and maybe save. Look at comparison sites to see if you can get cheaper utilities, insurance, borrowing or banking and you may even consider downsizing so that you can reduce your rent/mortgage and your household bills should reduce as a result. Think every time you buy something whether you really need it and if there is an alternative that is cheaper. You may be able to sell items that you have now that you do not use or need, to raise some cash as well. Also see whether you can earn more money by asking for a rise, working more hours, getting a better paid job getting a second job or doing freelance work evenings and weekends. Use all of your spare money to repay your loan and you will find that you will slowly whittle it down.

Once you have paid them off you need to resolve to not get into any bad debt again. This could mean that you need to cancel your overdraft, cut up your credit and store cards, cancel your catalogues and things like that. Decide whether you feel that you need to take measures like this to prevent you getting into debt or whether you think that you will not be tempted to any more.