High debt balances are serious issues that can have a detrimental impact on your life. Regardless of whether you have one or multiple credit cards with high balances, numerous loans, a high mortgage balance or something else, you understandably want to get out of debt as soon as possible. High debt balances can prevent you from living comfortably, saving for the future and even enjoying the type of lifestyle that you could otherwise afford if you did not have debts. Reducing and eliminating your debt balances may seem impossible, but a closer look will show you that you can actually produce the results that you desire simply by walking through a few important steps.
The most important step that you can take to reduce and eliminate debt is to stop spending. Your current spending habits may be adding new charges to your credit card accounts regularly. Even expenses that are not paid with a credit card can affect your financial situation. After all, when you spend money on extras with cash, you are spending money that otherwise could have been used for debt reduction. Understand what are essentials in your life and what are unnecessary extras that you do not actually need. Commit to living a more frugal lifestyle.
Create a Solid Budget
As you work on controlling your spending habits, you must then focus your attention on trimming back your regular expenses. To begin this process, create a realistic and accurate budget that lists all regular sources of income and all regular and non-recurring expenses. The more accurate this budget is, the more useful it will be. Rather than focus on altering numbers so that they look nice, make them accurate so that your budget is as useful as possible. Once your expenses are listed, review each one individually. Determine if it is a necessity, such as if you truly need cable TV when streaming video options are much more affordable. Otherwise, determine if you can reduce the cost of the expense, such as by shopping for lower auto insurance rates or refinancing your home mortgage payment.
Fund a Savings Account
By taking these two initial steps, you may have made great strides toward improving your financial situation, and you may be living much more comfortably with a budget that is easier to manage. Now, you will need to make thoughtful decisions about how to allocate the extra money that may be in your budget. Funding a savings account is a smart initial step to take. Savings account balances are directly linked to credit card debt. This is because people who have more money available in savings are less likely to resort to making credit card purchases when an unexpected expense arises. Before you start focusing heavily on debt reduction, deposit a comfortable amount of money into your savings account. Continue to add small deposits to this account over time so that the balance grows regularly.
Focus on High-Interest Rate Debt
After you have funded your savings account, you can use any extra money that you have available each month to pay off debt. For the biggest impact, focus on high interest rate debt on revolving accounts, such as credit card accounts. Another strategy is to pay off low-balance accounts. For example, if you have an account that may be paid off within a few months, you could eliminate that debt before focusing on high-interest rate accounts. Allocate as much money as possible toward debt reduction for the account that you have decided to focus on. When you have paid this account off, move on to the next account.
Consider Debt Consolidation
You can also consolidate debts into a fixed term loan with a lower interest rate. When debt is established on a fixed term loan, you have a defined pay off date. In addition, you may be able to reduce debt more quickly than with a revolving term. Use debt repayment calculators to determine which strategies will yield the best results for you. Debt consolidation is an option through a traditional bank loan, cash-out refinance on your home loan and other similar financial solutions.
Explore Alternative Financial Solutions
Another smart idea that may work well for many homeowners is to use a reverse mortgage. Check on Gooddayreverse to find a suitable solution. While you could refinance your mortgage, refinancing requires you to make monthly loan payments. Through a reverse mortgage, your lender gives you regular payments. This extra income can be used to pay off debts.
As you can see, there are multiple steps that you could take to regain control over your finances. If you are focused on eliminating debt, turn your attention to these tips, and find the solutions that are most applicable to your situation.
It’s pretty fair to say that debt is an inescapable part of everyday life for a lot of people. If you want to buy a home, then you have to take out a mortgage; most people who want go to college depend on student loans; people even use credit cards to fund their holidays. But that raises the question: when do people reach the point where they’re relying too much on debt?
How much is too much?
These days, as many as one in four families use credit to pay things like their regular bills as well as supporting their lifestyle overall. Every day, more and more people are putting themselves into the red as a method of staying on top of their regular finances. For many, this is a sign that the cost of living is simply too high and a lot of people aren’t being paid a decent living wage to make up for that. However, there are those who believe that it’s simply a matter of people wanting to spend more money than they have.
What can be done?
Of course, for a lot of the families who are using credit to get by on a day-to-day basis, it can feel as though the debt that they’re in will never be wiped away. However, there are things people can do to limit the impact of debt on their lives. For one thing, it’s important to make sure that you’re fully aware of all of the repayment terms of any loan or line of credit. Companies like auto.loan specialise in helping people find the best interest rates and repayment options for automobile loans, and there are plenty of others available. The reality is that debt is not going to stop being a central part of our economy, and the best that many individuals can manage is to think more carefully about the kinds of credit that they’re using.
What not to do
It is very easy to panic when you find yourself in debt, and many families end up resorting to drastic measures in order to cover it. One of the worst things that many people end up doing is that they try to cover the debt with more debt. This can be especially risky with things like short term cash loans which have very high-interest rates. Doing this is just going to cause a cycle of more and more debt until it becomes untenable. Not only that but doing this makes it much harder to get any line of credit in the future.
If you’re worried about the amount of debt in your life, then there are plenty of organisations that you can get into contact with who can offer a great deal of help and support to you and your family. Whether it’s helping you get control of your spending habits or simply helping you get your finances back into the black, there are always services out there and ways in which you can help yourself.
We’ve all done it. Browsed on the internet and bought something on an impulse. Whether it’s clothes, shoes, jewelry, gifts or a bigger purchase like a car, it’s possible to impulse buy just about anything these days. Our choices are many and the accessibility of internet shopping means some people find they’re buying stuff they just can’t afford. And it’s affecting more people than you might think.
Buyer’s remorse huge in the UK
A whopping 82% of adults from the UK have regretted something they have bought – and 15% of those admit it’s because they couldn’t afford it in the first place. New research from UK debt advice and solutions provider Debt Advisory Centre, author of this article, shows that most UK adults have felt buyer’s remorse at one time or another. Reasons given for regretting that magical purchase include things like ‘didn’t really need it’ at the top of the list, followed by ‘didn’t fit’, ‘never used it’, ‘couldn’t afford it’ and ‘poor quality’.
What do we regret purchasing?
Worryingly, purchases most regretted by people doing the survey are pets, at 42%. This was followed by 38% stating they regretted booking a holiday, 32% wishing they hadn’t been so generous with their gift-giving and 28% sadly wondering why they bought that particular car.
These results are not surprising, perhaps, given that most of them are long-term commitments with costs that are ongoing. Finding out that your cute puppy will set you back a significant sum each year just to feed – regardless of vet fees if they get sick and the sheer time and attention they need – seems to put many owners off.
On the flipside, although gifts and holidays tend to be bigger one-off purchases, often they’re bought without thought to your budget and so knock finances off course. It can seem worth it when you’re on the beach but coming back to a whole heap of debts could really spoil those memories.
What do people do with the things they don’t want?
In this age of easy internet access, it’s a viable option to list items that are not wanted and sell them at an online shop like eBay or etsy. However, it turns out that over half of respondents (57%) just kept their purchases, even though they no longer wanted them.
As long as receipts are kept and no damage has been done, it’s also possible to get a refund from the stockist – something that really should be looked into if money is tight.