Posted on Leave a comment

Beat Credit Card Debt In Easy Steps

Credit_card_dept_2WOW, what ever happened to our economy? It seems like all of a sudden things went right down the tubes. Suddenly we are all swimming, and drowning, in debt. Now what? How do we fix our financial mess? How do we beat credit card debt once and for all? Easy, I’ll show you…

Unlike our parents generation when using credit was considered embarrassing and a sign of poverty, our society today encourages debt. No one thinks it’s wrong to use credit as a way to live way beyond our means. It’s even become something of a status symbol to have a lot of credit cards.

Unfortunately, that financial philosophy is proving to not be such a great idea after all. So many of us were living at the very brink of our financial limits and one tiny little push was all it took to send us teetering over the cliff.

We can’t go back and change the decisions we made yesterday but we can change what we do today so that we can be more secure tomorrow.

There are several things you can start doing today that can help you find a much more stable financial footing and can keep you on balance for the rest of your life, no matter what the economy decides it’s going to do.

To tame your credit card debt use these simple tips:

1) Consolidate your debt. This means that instead of paying $50 a month on 10 credit cards ($500/month) you combine all your debt into one loan and pay one smaller fee ($300/ month, for example) Most consolidation loans accrue interest differently than a credit card so you will be paying more in principle with every payment.

If you are only paying the minimum fee on your credit card bill you are paying only interest. You are not even touching the principle. You will have a very hard time ever paying your card down that way. There are many debt consolidation services available today. Start by asking your local bank who they recommend.

2) Do it yourself. Even if you can’t increase your income you can still pay off your debt yourself. It will take time and discipline but it has worked for thousands of people.

This method simply requires you to pay the minimum payments on all of your credit cards every month, focusing on the smallest debt and adding any extra money to that card every month. Remember that adding even a few extra dollars a month to your minimum payment will go directly to the principle.

After a while you will have the smallest debt paid off. When you reach that point you will take the money you were using to pay on that card and apply it to the next smallest debt. And so on, and so on, until all your credit card debt is paid off.

Getting yourself out of debt isn’t going to be easy. It’s always tough to change habits. But if you beat credit card debt once and for all you will have a much more secure financial future and it doesn’t matter what the economy does, you’ll be set!

Books on getting out of dept and dept management:
Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Suze Orman, The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted on Leave a comment

You Should Use A Debt Reduction Spreadsheet To Guide You

Dept reduction 3
If you’ve been looking for ways to get out of debt, then maybe a debt reduction spreadsheet might be the perfect tool for you. There are plenty of free downloads available, as well as some excellent professional debt elimination calculators designed for spreadsheets.

The idea behind using a debt reduction spreadsheet is to give you an accurate picture of your current financial situation. As you work towards repaying your debts, you enter the changes into the spreadsheet so you can track your progress.

It’s also a good idea to enter any changes to your income or expenses so the calculations inside your spreadsheet can make the necessary changes. Depending on the type of program you’re using, you might find that the calculation can change the estimated date that you could be debt free, or it might amend the amount of money you have to spend in your budget each week.

When you’re working hard to get rid of your debts, finding ways to keep yourself motivated so you’ll stick to your goals is important. This is where finding a good program to help you monitor and track your progress can be most beneficial. You can actually see the progress you’re making, which can help to keep you focused and on track.

Not all debt reduction spreadsheets are the same. Some are designed to work with very different debt reduction strategies. Perhaps the most popular of these is the snowball method. This is where you aim at paying down the debt with the smallest balance first, regardless of the interest rate you’re being charged. The object is to give you a sense of achievement to help motivate you to aim at the bigger debts in line. The snowball method works really well with the help of a spreadsheet designed to show you where you need to focus and what debt to pay down first.

Another popular method is opting for paying down the high interest debt first rather than the smallest balance.

The most important factor of using a debt reduction spreadsheet is remembering to enter any changes in your situation on a regular basis. The more often you remember to enter new balances or changes in interest charges or income levels, the more likely it will be that you’ll continue to find the motivation to keep going.

Many of the spreadsheets have in-built calculators that can show you how long it will take you to pay off your current debts based on the numbers you’re entered. This is usually a trigger for many people to look for ways to reduce their expenses a little further so they’ll have more income available to put towards debt reduction. When you make those changes in the spreadsheet, you’ll instantly notice how much faster those little changes will help you become debt free.

Of course, you can customize your debt reduction spreadsheet so you get to choose which debts you want to focus on paying off first. No matter what your preference, download a calculation tool that’s designed to help you get back in control of your finances today.

Books on getting out of dept and dept management:
Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Suze Orman, The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted on

Accelerated Debt Reduction – Save Money – Do It Yourself

Dept reduction 2
Accelerated debt reduction is usually advertised by debt settlement companies wanting you to believe that the only way to get rid of debt quickly is to negotiate with your creditors to accept a reduced amount of money as payment for what you owe them.

The truth is there really are ways to create an accelerated debt reduction plan on your own that could see you become debt free as well as teaching you important lessons about financial responsibility at the same time.

Before You Begin

Perhaps the best way to begin working on an accelerated debt reduction plan is to take a good look at your current budget and spending habits. Create a quick budget or write out a list of income and expenses so you know how much you’re spending. If you can see any areas at all where you might be able to cut back your spending, then work on this now.

Reduce Costs

Many people believe that trying to save 50 cents on a grocery bill is the right thing to do when they’re trying to reduce debt. Instead of worrying about your living expenses, take a look at how much your consumer debts are costing you. If you didn’t have to pay those every month, how much of your income would you have left over for yourself?

Work on finding ways to reduce the amount of interest you pay each month. This could mean catching up any delinquent payments to stop those penalty fees from accumulating. It could also mean consolidating some of the more expensive debts into a lower interest option.

If you have the option, then consider transferring the balance of a high interest credit card over to a low or no interest option. Once your interest costs have been reduced, take advantage of that introductory period to pay down as much of that balance as possible before normal interest rate charges start again.

Raise Income

While it’s not possible for everyone to walk into the boss and demand a pay rise, there are other things you can do to raise some extra cash to get rid of those debts. Millions of dollars worth of regular items are sold every day on eBay. Take a look around your home and put anything you don’t use any more on eBay.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, hold a yard sale and see if you can raise a little cash this way. Not only will you be un-cluttering your home, you’ll be un-cluttering your debts at the same time. Whatever money you raise, put this immediately towards paying down your debt balances. This will give you a huge head start and keep your motivation high.

Discipline

If you’re managed to reduce your monthly repayment costs, then the best accelerated debt reduction method is to have the discipline to allocate those savings towards making extra payments on your debts.

Whenever you receive a pay rise or a bonus or a little extra cash from any source, put it straight off the balance of your debts. Many people hate this part of the discipline stage, preferring to spend bonuses on treats.

Having the discipline to pay extra money off your debts now and go without those treats temporarily will mean you should have far more money to enjoy every month once those debts and the expensive repayments are gone for good.

Good luck with your accelerated debt reduction journey.

Books on getting out of dept and dept management:
Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Suze Orman, The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted on

A Financial Debt Reduction Plan Can Be Your Way Out

Dept reductionWorking out the right financial debt reduction plan to help you get out of debt can be tricky. Everyone seems to have all kinds of advice and they’re all convinced their method is best. How can you know which one is the right one to help you?

The problem with most financial debt reduction plans is that they don’t take into account your own unique financial situation. Only you have your level of income and expenses combined with your current debt balances. Your circumstances aren’t the same as anyone else, so why would you assume that a method that helped someone else with their financial difficulties will help you too? Work on a method that suits your own goals and your personal financial situation.

Before You Begin

Before you begin working on a debt reduction plan, ask yourself why you want to reduce your debts. You need to have a clear goal and a defined purpose in order to maintain the level of motivation you need to become debt free.

Think about how much of your hard-earned income you’ll have left over each week if you didn’t have to hand over so much of it to banks and credit card companies. What would you do with that extra money? Your answers to these questions will form the base of your own motivation.

Spending Habits

Most financial debt reduction tips begin by saying you should work out a budget and then scrimp and save and generally live like a pauper. This is the surest way to lose motivation and end up getting nowhere when you realize you’re not enjoying anything.

Instead, take a careful look at your own spending habits. Understand how you got into such a huge amount of debt in the first place. Did you buy a home that was too expensive for you? Is your car far too big and uneconomical for your needs? Are you the type of person who needs to have all the latest electronic gadgets the moment they’re released whether you can afford them or not?

There is a reason why your debts are mounting up and becoming uncontrollable. Take a careful look at your current lifestyle and how much it costs to maintain your standard of living today. In order to become debt free, you first need to fix your spending leaks. This means finding the discipline to stop charging anything else on your credit cards and only buying those things you have the cash to afford.

De-Clutter

Financial debt reduction can’t begin while your finances are cluttered, messy and disorganized. Spend some time working through an accurate picture of your total income after tax, your realistic expenses and your current repayments. Then work through some ways to reduce your costs.

This should include working on ways to reduce any repayments or interest charges on outstanding debts, avoiding penalty fees and finding ways to cut back the amount you spend on other living expenses.

Once you’re found the right level of motivation to become debt free and you’re de-cluttered your financial mess, you’ll find that working on a realistic plan for financial debt reduction will be much easier.

Books on getting out of dept and dept management:
Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Suze Orman, The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve

Image courtesy of patpitchaya / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted on

Your Guide On Credit Card Debt Elimination

Credit card deptCredit card debt elimination is the dream of many people, getting rid of the debt that has plagued them for so long can bring an incredible feeling of freedom. In today’s society it’s very easy to get in over your head since it’s virtually impossible to pay cash for everything you need. That’s where credit cards come in. But if something happens, you might not be able to pay off the bill when it comes in and it can quickly spiral out of control.

Anything can contribute to this, as accidents do happen. You might simply forget about the payment, or you may have been injured and had to pay medical bills, or maybe even something as simple as not getting the payment in on time. None of these are reasons for you to be condemned to a life of debt.

There are a lot of options for getting out of debt: debt consolidation, debt counseling, even bankruptcy. However before you do anything as drastic and permanent as bankruptcy take a step back and think about it. You should try to solve this issue on your own first, as bankruptcy must be an absolute last resort.

As the saying goes, “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. This can also be applied to getting out of debt.

Here are three easy steps you should follow to help get out of debt. It’s not going to be quick, and it will take patience and discipline, but it is a proven system that will help you be debt free.

1) First you should make a detailed list of all your debt. Have everything included, even the smallest debts. The list should show all your monthly costs as well. From utility and house payments, to insurance payments. Anything that’s taking money from the household should be added. All of that should be in one column, while all of your credit card debt is in the other. That way your expenses and debt are side by side.

2) Give yourself a very strict monthly budget. Make sure you are able to pay the minimum payments on all of your debt.

3) Use that list and choose the smallest debt first. Pay as much as you can spare towards that single debt. Soon it will be paid off and you can take the money from that debt and apply it to your next smallest debt. Keep doing this over and over, working up the list. If you keep doing it you’ll eventually find yourself getting out of debt.

Credit card debt elimination is a hard thing to do, but it can be done. Just make sure to always have hope, and keep going. As long as you stick to the system above you will find yourself free of debt.

This method is proven to work for many people, it just takes a lot of patience and discipline. You will probably have to make some sacrifices as well such as cutting back on your daily lattes and eating out as often. But that will be a small price to pay to finally get out of debt.

Books on getting out of dept and dept management:
Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Suze Orman, The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted on

Your Guide On How To Be Debt Free

Dept_FreeDebt is something many people all over the world struggle with, and many want to know how to be debt free. In today’s society you can’t afford to spend cash on everything, and sometimes you have to use a credit card or get a loan. But if the unexpected happens and you’re unable to pay back those debts it can spiral out of control.

An illness, some time off from work or even an unexpected household repair that requires you to use your credit card can all be reasons for you to find yourself with more debt than you can handle.

There are many options available to you such as debt counseling services, debt consolidation and even bankruptcy. But before you do anything that drastic take some time to try to fix your debt situation on your own.

It is possible, even without adding income, to pay off your debt. It will take time and it will take discipline but if you are committed to living a life without any debt you can do it.

Below is a step by step plan that will help you to get rid of all your debt. It isn’t a quick fix, but it’s realistic and has worked for thousands of people, and it can work for you too:

1) Make yourself a detailed list of all your debt. Add everything, even the smallest of debts should be added to this list. This list should include your monthly household bills (such as house payments, insurance, utility bills, etc etc etc) in one column and your debt in another column.

2) Make a very detailed budget for all your monthly expenses. Be sure to have enough so you are able to make at least the minimum payments on all of your debt.

3) From the lists above pick the smallest debt as your target. Pay as much towards this debt as you can without cutting payments on your other debts. Once you manage to pay off this debt completely, take that money and apply it to the next smallest debt. Keep doing this again and again until your debt is all paid off. Doing this will allow you to pay off all your debt, even if you can’t get extra money coming in.

This method works, it just takes discipline. You’ll have to make sacrifices if you want to be debt free. That means making a reasonable budget and sticking to it. But if you stay disciplined, and keep at it, you will eventually find yourself out of debt which will bring you peace of mind and will make all the sacrifices seem worthwhile.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net