If you have a lot of debt hanging over your head right now, it might be making you feel hopeless. You’re not alone!
According to a recent study, about 65% of the people who are in debt at the moment don’t think they’re ever going to get out of debt. A whopping 25% of them expect to die without ever becoming debt-free.
Can you relate? If so, you should know that becoming debt-free isn’t something that’s impossible to do. In fact, if you put your mind to it, you can wipe away all your debt in a matter of just 12 months.
With this in mind, you should make 2020 the year you finally commit to clearing your debt. Continue reading to learn about six ways you can work towards getting yourself out of debt this year.
1. Begin by Creating a Budget for Your Household
How much money do you make every month and how much money do you spend? If you don’t have the slightest idea, there’s a good chance that your household isn’t using a budget right now.
This is a mistake that many American households make. Studies have shown that only about 40% of people use a budget on a regular basis.
If you’re not using a budget, change that immediately, as it’s one of the keys to becoming debt-free. A budget will provide you with a full breakdown of where every dollar goes.
With a budget in place, you’ll be able to save more money every month. Many people find that they’re able to save hundreds of dollars each month simply by eating at home instead of eating out or skipping their daily trips to the convenience store.
You can then use all that money you’re saving to pay down debt.
2. Take Stock of How Much Debt You Have
Do you know exactly how much debt you’re in right now?
If you don’t, now is the time to sit down, crunch the numbers, and figure it out. When you do this, you might be surprised by what you see.
The average American has about $38,000 worth of debt, not including their mortgage. If your debt is anywhere close to that—or worse, way higher than that—it might leave you feeling deflated.
But you’re not going to be able to become debt-free until you bite the bullet and see how much debt you’re in. It’ll give you some idea of what steps you’re going to have to take next.
3. Bring in More Income Every Month
After you’ve set up a budget for your household and run the numbers to see how much debt you’re in, it’s time to get down to business. You’ll be ready to start throwing as much money as you can at your debt.
As we mentioned earlier, you can do this by freeing up some of the money that you’re spending in other areas of your life. You can also do it by finding ways to bring in more income every month.
In some cases, that might mean finding a new job that pays more than the job you have now. In others, it might mean picking up a second job at night and/or on the weekends or figuring out a good side hustle for yourself.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to work yourself to the bone forever—just until your debt is paid off. When you look at it like that, you’ll be a lot more motivated to work as hard as you can to try and pay down your debt.
4. Consider Consolidating High-Interest Credit Cards
Do you have credit cards with astronomical interest rates attached to them? Those interest rates could very well prevent you from making a big dent in your debt anytime soon.
But there is a great way to get around this while also making your debt more manageable in the process. You can use what’s called debt consolidation to consolidate all your high-interest credit cards.
Debt consolidation allows you to take a bunch of different debts and combine them into one debt with a much lower interest rate than the rates you have now. By taking this approach to paying down debt, you’ll be able to get rid of it much sooner.
Just make sure you work with a reputable debt resolution company to ensure you have the best consolidation experience possible.
5. Avoid Adding New Debt to Your Life
When you start to see your debt disappear, you’ll feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders. You’ll also begin to feel hopeful about your financial future.
These are great feelings, but you shouldn’t get too caught up in them. They can sometimes make you think that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to add a little bit of new debt to your life, as long as you’re able to manage it.
You should work hard to say “No!” to yourself whenever these kinds of thoughts enter your mind. The last thing you want to do is work hard at becoming debt-free this year only to get right back into debt again next year.
Stay disciplined and use your budget to decide what you can and can’t afford to buy. It’ll help you control your spending and avoid taking on new debt.
Becoming Debt-Free Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
When people consider the idea of becoming debt-free, they often see it as an insurmountable challenge. They think they’re going to have to spend years eating nothing but rice and beans to pay down the debt they’ve accumulated.
But if you follow the steps listed here, you’ll be shocked to see how fast your debt balances start to go down. Little by little, you’ll be able to eliminate debt by budgeting your money and using tactics like debt consolidation.
Would you like to learn more? Fill out this form to see which debt consolidation solutions are available to you today.