How to Get and Stay Out of Debt: A Smart Spender’s Guide to Financial Freedom
Conquering your debt takes a lot of hard work and diligence. Unfortunately, the charges that you’ve incurred won’t go away overnight, and you need to implement a proper plan to deal with your expenses. Debt comes in all shapes and sizes and many estimate that it could take twice as long for you to pay it off as it did for you to rack up the expenses. The following are tips on how to conquer your debt and enjoy your financial freedom.
Implement a Cash Flow Plan
The word budget has been thought to be too restrictive for people and many frown on being held to the tight constraints of cutting back on their spending. A cash flow plan is similar to a budget, but it allows the person to think of their personal finances similar to running a company. A business that is constantly in the negatives won’t be able to operate properly, and you may be forced into bankruptcy. This is the opportune time to assess your cash flow to determine if you’re in the positive territory. Consider using a budget tracking app, Lifehacker did a pretty good write-up on a few.
Get on the Same Page
If you have a spouse or significant other, and you share expenses, you’ll want to get on the same page with your spending practices. Take a few first steps to managing your money and your marriage together.
It does you no good to have a saver and a spender in the family. If you’re facing serious financial troubles, you need to make a concerted effort to limit your spending. Instead of going out for dinner every night, you can cut back to once a week. If there are other areas where you can sacrifice financially, this is a great time to do so.
Add to Your Cash Flow
Conquering your debt can take a long time and be dependent on the amount of your positive cash flow. You can take the bull by the horns and speed up the process with a little creativity. Go over your expenses one more time to see if there are any other areas you can tweak and save money. If you’re stretched to the limits, you can implement other avenues to increase your revenue. A part-time job can be utilized to pay off your debt expeditiously. After you’ve accomplished this task, and you no longer have credit card payments hanging over your head, you can use this extra income to strengthen your bank account. This is the best time to add income to your savings account, and it can come in handy for any future unexpected expenses that may come your way. Instead of having to rack up credit card debt to deal with emergency situations, you’ll have a monetary resource to turn to.
Use Your Credit Cards Wisely
Credit cards can often make a financial situation worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, credit cards can be beneficial for the individual who handles their money wisely. By applying for the right card, you can gain benefits that can include travel, restaurants, hotels and cash back. Credit cards can also come in handy when you have to rent a car or reserve a hotel when traveling. It can be especially rewarding when you know that you have the cash to pay for the items that you’re charging when the bills come due in 30 days.
Debt Relief Programs
If you’re finding it difficult to manage your finances and getting ahead, you may find debt relief programs like this one, beneficial. Carrying any amount of debt can pose a financial burden and cause serious health complications, stress and anxiety. Debt relief programs are designed to help people get a handle on their bills and allow them to get their credit back in positive territory.
When you’ve finally gotten out from under your mountain of debt, you need to learn to do without the items that you financially are unable to afford. This will help you to save more money in the future and enjoy the financial freedom that you so richly deserve.