Arguably, the single biggest defining factor of our civilization is the instrument of debt. Throughout history it has been used for nearly every purpose imaginable – bad and good, often times as a weapon or tool of control. The point is, being in debt is no fun and it can really drag you down and create a lot of undeserved mental stress and anguish. Assuming that you are ready to try some new debt-crushing tactics on for size, we offer you the following 5 tips…
Establish a savings fund
Simply trying to go “hand-to-mouth” with all of your month-to-month finances isn’t going to cut it. What you really need to do is look at setting up a specific type of savings fund which you can later use to help pay down any extenuating debts. At the same time, it’s useful to have a buffer which allows you to avoid finding yourself short of cash due to unexpected expenses arising. It goes without saying that you are going to learn to spend less than you’re taking in, that’s pretty much a given. The tricky part is in evaluating all of your income and looking for ways to scrimp without really sacrificing the necessary elements of your lifestyle.
Cancel your credit card(s)
Assuming that your goal here is to just get rid of debt and not to build up credit (at the same time), perhaps the most prudent thing you can do is to just chop up your credit cards. Whether this entails physically canceling them and, holding onto them for safekeeping or actually destroying each card, the result is the same – to remove the temptation to make non-essential purchases and stack on additional debt.
You’ve probably heard it before, but consolidation is also a useful tool if you’re looking to trim debt. It should go without saying that not all plans will work well; in fact, some might actually raise your interest payments, which is why you should probably speak with a professional accountant you can trust who can break everything down for you. Assuming that you are able to find a company willing to consolidate your debts for you and they offer an attractive interest / service rate, be sure to always read the fine print for any additional circumstances which might alter your agreement with them.
Bankruptcy and debt settlements
If things take a turn for the worst, bankruptcy might become an option. Filing for this will carry with it a number of problems but it could very well allow you to either eliminate significant portions of a debt and/or uncover a way to get rid of existing sums more quickly. Additionally, a debt settlement might be possible if you can speak with the company and negotiate some type of solution. This might mean paying off a chunk at once in a lump sum, or even removing part of the burden altogether. For them, the prospect of receiving more money upfront in a shorter amount of time is usually very attractive.
Patience and opportunities
You never know where opportunities will arise and from whom they might originate. Armed with patience and an open, logical mindset, look for possibilities in places that you never previously considered, of course remember to be cautious as well.