Your 5-Step Guide To Living Debt Free
Racking up debt is an unhealthy cycle – you start with a couple of small loans, end up borrowing more to pay them off, and it goes on and on. Young people especially struggle with fiscal responsibility and often end up buried under piles of unpaid bills. Due to the accumulative nature of the debt, the longer you put it off, the more it will cost you. If you often find yourself in this situation, read on to discover five smart ways to cut down on what you owe.
1. Keep Track of Expenses
Artur Szczybylo/Shutterstock: Keep Track of Expenses
In the month following your paycheck, keep track of where your money goes. How much do you pay for food, utilities, rent, and entertainment? There are many apps available that can help you keep track of this data on your phone.
Invest time into organizing your bills and determine exactly how much you owe and who you owe it to. Look at your monthly expenditure and point out areas where it can be cut down. Rent, for example, has to be paid in full each month. On the other hand, you can cut down on the number of meals you eat outside, or the amount you spend on cabs. Then, draw up a schedule for repayment, setting weekly or monthly objectives for how much money you will channel into repaying your debts.
Rei Imagine/Shutterstock: Discipline
Make a pact with yourself to stick to the budget, and most importantly, refrain from taking out more loans until your current debts are paid off.
4. Switch It Up
There are times when you can save money by making simple changes. If you pay for utilities using cheques, for example, call up your bank and switch to paying via direct debit. Not only does this reduce the risk of late payments, but most providers also offer discounts for direct debit transfers. While you’re at it, make an effort to research whether or not you are getting the best deal with your current provider. If a new one has entered the market and is offering better prices, make the change!
5. Bank Business
The ease with which accounts can be transferred these days has boosted competition among banks, so look out for banks offering switching incentives and monthly rewards. If you have stuck with the same bank for a long time, you can easily find an alternative with a better overdraft that you may have disregarded entirely.
If followed diligently, these tips can go a long way in making a dent in your debts. However, if you find that they are not sufficient to diffuse your financial situation, do make an effort to seek professional help.
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