Saying No to temptations specially when it’s on Sale is like trying to say no to that last piece of brownie which you know you shouldn’t eat but still you dig in, when you have your Credit card in hand it gets even more hard to stop yourself from buying things, as we all require a new set of curtains that will match with the new lampshade we just bought, so my question is:
Do we even require this stuff? Do we actually require more than 2 set of curtains (Yes!!) or 15 different styles of mugs (Yes! We do) or 10 lamps going in coordination with those 10 table tops? (Yes!! definitely…. Aaahhh Actually we don’t)
Just ask yourself this question for me: Do I actually need all of this extra stuff? (Which certainly is not a necessity item?!). We definitely DO NOT need the debt that comes with it, then why to even buy such things in the very first place?
Being in Debt is not the latest trend instead, what’s most trending nowadays is Millennials going Minimal; they grew up during the recession, entered a struggling job market and now are focusing on paying off their student loans. Don’t focus on the debt part but what we all should focus upon is that, these Millennials have taught us the difference between leading a peaceful life with all the required basic necessities or a life full of everything even Debt which you might or might not want.
Well enough with the heavy! Let’s conclude that we too can definitely think of living with just the necessities and stop ourselves from creating that never-ending debt cycle which leads us to the door of debt consolidations.
So, here are a few points which you can follow to get out of debt cycle:
1. Know What You Owe
Be it a tenner or a grand, be it a friend or a bank, knowing what you owe and to whom is the very first step that you need to take. So take a few days or a week’s time at the max (as we often forget about our debts) and write down each and every amount that you owe.
Identifying what you have to pay up and to whom will help you in sorting out the finances that need to be repaid on an urgent basis apart from the ones which you can pay the next month or even after that.
Seeing these numbers will bring out the bitter reality check and will stop you from making any unnecessary expenses. I can assure you that this document will help you in creating this list, so just download it.
2. Create a Budget
The hardest part of breaking the debt cycle is creating a balanced budget. So it’s necessary for you to sit down with your spouse and according to your income (Individual or combined with the spouse) you need to:
Identify your monthly income which may include earning from sources other than your salary.
Identify all the debts, be it from a bank, friend or family member.
Try and remember if someone else owes you any money and get in contact with that person. (To get your bucks back, obviously)
Create a list of all your necessities and allocate your money accordingly in things like grocery, daily personal care and baby care if you have one, etc.
Decide on the cheapest days when you’ll be going for bulk shopping in your local market stores.
Keep a pact of paying off the debts as and when you receive your pay but you also need to create a balance with the debt you are paying and the minimum required amount for survival in that month.
If you are doing well with your debts then also set aside a little money every month for a savings account you can dip into for emergencies so you don’t have to turn to credit cards.
3. Track your spending habits
Peeping in my pockets or checking my account and wondering where did all of my money go was like a routine chore for me every mid of the month. To keep running out of money is not what you expect when you work hard to earn those bucks. So in order to stop wondering as to where my money went, I started keeping a record of my expenses.
Keeping a diary and recording expenses as small as a fiver spent on a bunch of candies to satisfy my sweet tooth has proved to be a much sweeter reward, as I now know what all unwanted expenses I’m incurring and when I need to stop. This not only helps in keeping my health better (Not just Physical but Mental health as well, No Debt No Stress!) but it also helped me in keeping a record of my lifestyle.
You might think of it to be a tedious and a boring task which is not even required but, this method is sure to help you in decreasing your debt amount.
4. Set Up automated payments
Ask your bank to set up an automated paying up system for the expenses that you’re sure to make on a monthly basis. Whether you’re paying with a debit card or credit card, most banks and credit card issuers have an automated payment option available to help you pay your bills by a specific date each month.
You can also use this app if you want to pay less. Trim: An app that works through Facebook Messenger or your text messages.
Trim is basically a free financial assistant. (Yeah, this is the best friend you’ve been looking for.)
Once you’re connected, you’ll be able to access a dashboard within your Messenger or text conversation with Trim. For example, you’ll see options to:
Negotiate your Comcast (or other providers) bill down to a lower price.
View your spending habits.
Scroll through your subscription services to cancel the ones you forgot about or don’t need (about that gym membership…).
Trim also shows your account balance and recent transactions. Want to know how much you spent at Starbucks last month so you can budget better? Just ask the bot.
5. Operate on Cash
By following the above-mentioned points I know that by now you must be having a balanced budget (don’t worry, patience is the key! You’ll get there). So now the next and very important tip is to stick to cash and ditch your plastic. Once you run out of money that’s the hint when you need to stop spending and avoid using credit cards as much as you can. Making it a rule that credit cards are only to be used in emergencies will help reduce the debt even more. Handing over the cash every time you make a purchase also helps you assess whether this is really how you want to be using your limited funds, I know you too will think twice before purchasing stuff just like I do!
6. Sell Off Your Extra Stuff
I know giving away your prized possessions can be a difficult task but it’s also important to cope with your debts today and not procrastinate it for tomorrow (A huge piled up debt is a much bigger burden, Trust me!). To help you deal with debts and create more space in your home there are various apps through which you can sell off your extra unused stuff:
Letgo / 5Miles / Wish local: These apps let you sell and buy anything and everything, and also gives you a chance to negotiate the price with buyer or seller through chat. Though, I would suggest that before buying anything new you should sell away your less used stuff through these apps. (earning first and spending later will always work for good)
Decluttr: This site will pay you for your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, video games, gaming consoles and other electronics.
Bookscouter: This site is solely dedicated for book lovers, so sell off the one-time reads which you can never read again and you won’t regret why you even purchased them; this app will take care of such books getting you some bucks in return.
Yard Sale: If these apps don’t work out for you then go for traditional ways of earning something extra through yard sale (Proves to be a charmer every time and never disappoints!)
Running into debt isn’t so bad. It’s running into a creditor that hurts!
So it’s better to make sure that you don’t create such situations for yourself and even if you do these tips are sure to help you