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When you are in debt, the whole world feels out of reach. Not only are you panicking every time you open your wallet, but you feel guilty about buying the basics, you have a sinking feeling every time a bill arrives and you get stressed when your friends suggest going out and doing something.
Debt is no fun at all. But it is something you can take control of.
As much as you might prefer to bury your head in the sand, the best thing you can do is realize that you have a problem and start taking matters into your own hands. There is no easy way to do this but if you break it down into these 3 steps, you will find it much easier, and much less stressful.
Whether you are repaying a business loan or want to eliminate personal debts, this is what you should do first.
Work Out the Numbers
The very first thing you should do is make sure that you have all your numbers worked out. Write down all the debts you have with the interest percentage next to the number you owe. Then rank the debts with the highest interest at the top. This will tell you which debt is costing you the most.
You should also work out what your minimum monthly repayments are. This will help you to see what the minimum amount you are spending on your debt is and indicate how much you need to earn to cover it. Don’t forget, that you will also need to be able to pay your bills and mortgage or rent payments too.
Create a Strategy
So now that you are probably feeling a bit sick, let’s create a strategy. You’ve done the hard part, which is to face your problem head on and now you have a couple of options.
Option 1: Ranking and Repaying
The first option to consider is using your rankings to prioritize which debt to pay off first. Choosing the highest percentage and over-paying each month is the best way to reduce that debt quickly while you make minimum payments on your other debts. This strategy is also great because as you work down your list, you can see that you are making good progress.
Option 2: Consolidation
Another option to consider is looking into debt loan consolidation programs. This is a great option if you are struggling with the numbers and want to turn a number of debts into a single debt you can repay in a single payment each month.
Stick to Your Game Plan
The next thing is to make sure that you stick to your game plan, whatever it is. Taking on a second job is going to be tough but will bring in some extra income to help you out. Similarly, there are online side hustles that might interest you.
The best thing you can do, though, is to minimize your monthly outgoings. Buy cheaper food and products, plan your meals to reduce food waste, cook in bulk and freeze, turn the heating down a degree or two – when you start looking, there are lots of small ways you can save.
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