While getting out of debt isn’t as easy as accumulating it, paying off everything can be done with a little perseverance. This is a process that will involve following some basic steps, but you will eventually get debt free. When that time does arrive, tearing up most of your credit cards can help you avoid falling into the same situation again.
Create a New Budget
You should start by creating a new budget that reduces your expenses each month. Your goal should be to create some degree of disposable income that you can use to pay off your debts. Try to eliminate as many redundant or unnecessary expenses as possible. For example, buy your coffee and other staple items in bulk, or switch to generic brands to save even more money. If you stream content online, cancel your cable subscription. Look for more ways you can reduce spending each month.
Stop Accumulating New Debt
You’ll never get out of debt if you’re still borrowing or using your credit cards. If you’re stuck in a cycle of borrowing and repaying short-term loans, your first priority should be to get out of that routine. Use your disposable income to help yourself catch up on your monthly bills. You can also help yourself by taking the credit cards out of your purse or wallet. Lock them in a desk drawer or safe in your home.
Start Repaying Your Debts
There are two different methods for paying off debt, so you can decide which option is right for you. The snowball method may be the easiest because it involves paying off your smallest debts first. As you tackle the next highest debt, you’ll have that much more disposable income to help you pay off each debt faster. The second option is the avalanche method, which involves paying off the debts with the highest interest first. This method takes a little longer, but it saves you from accumulating more debt in the form of interest charges.
Now that you are free of debt, you should work on building up a savings account for emergencies. As a general rule, 10% of your income from each pay period should be deposited into a high-interest savings account. This will help you build up a substantial nest egg, which you can use for household emergencies, big ticket purchases, and vacations. Saving up more will help you avoid the need to borrow or charge to cover these expenses.