Lighten Your Load: 6 Debt-Reducing Strategies
Getting rid of debt is in many ways like getting over a long, nasty cold. Neither is fun to deal with, both cause you to suffer, and often times, both can make you feel as though there is no end in sight.
But at Consumer First Legal Network, we believe that you can change your financial future for the better. No matter how you got to where you are, we know you’re ready to unburden yourself from debt.
Here are 6 tips you can use to get onto the path of financial success a little quicker:
1.Increase Your Income
This may seem like an obvious answer and probably sounds easier said than done. After all, if you had a higher income, you wouldn’t be in this financial quandary, right?
But regardless of personal wealth, some of us choose to spend money on things with money we don’t actually have. It can be easy for many people to stay in debt because they tend to make impulse buys with their credit cards. Because money spent with a credit card can seem as though it isn’t ‘real’ money being taken out of your bank account, it’s not hard to mindlessly overspend – which can also lead to overdraft fees if you’re not careful.
One way to avoid this is by paying for things with cash as much as possible. If you leave your cards at home, you’ll be more likely to reduce your overall debt.
2. Less is More
Spending less is a simple way to get closer to financial stability. When you create a budget, make it your goal to spend even less than what you wrote down as your spending limit. Learn how to say “no” and to ask yourself, “do I really need this?” Practicing these things will make you more disciplined with your money.
3. Ask Your Creditor for a Lower Interest Rate
You’ll never know unless you ask. Many people struggling with debt will stay in debt for longer than necessary simply because they spend so long paying off monthly interest charges instead of their credit card balances. If you’ve been a loyal customer who’s been good with payments in the past, you can ask your creditor to issue you a lower interest rate – they might just say yes!
4. Go Beyond the Bare Minimum
On a similar note, you can get out of debt faster by paying more than the minimum on your credit card balances. If you only pay off the minimum(s), you’ll spend that much longer working towards paying the total amounts you owe.
5. Tackle the Costliest Debts First
Determine which debts are costing you the most in interest and work towards paying off those debts first. You’ll be motivated to continue checking the rest of the debts off your list. By the end of it all, you’ll only have your least expensive debts to worry about. This is called the Snowball Method – a great option for those who are motivated by accomplishing their financial goals, one step at a time.
6. Cut Back
As Marie Kondo might say, is there anything in your life you can get rid of that doesn’t spark joy? Even if everything in your life does spark joy, think about what items you can cut from your household’s budget. Can you get your groceries from less costly markets? Can your family become a one-car family? Are you willing to downsize on your current housing? Making a few sacrifices here and there may help you reach your long-term goal of debt-free, financial wellness.
Consumer First Legal Network is a national law firm with attorneys who help individuals and families like you who are struggling with unsecured debts. Would you like our financial counselors to take a look at your personal financial situation? Contact us and we’ll help you begin to turn it all around.
Consumer First Legal Network, LLC
Harold E. Stafford, Esq.
Licensed in Wisconsin
6918 Avalon Lane, Madison, WI 53719
Phone: 866-552-9492, Ext. 2