Someone who is not in debt appreciates a telephone ringing, because a person without excess debt does not fear creditors. A person without excess debt goes to the mailbox with general malaise, and doesn’t feel the stomach clenching fear when a handful of bills appear. Someone without a lot of debt can enjoy shopping, can handle the unexpected, and sleeps better knowing they have their ducks in a row. Life without debt is difficult to conceive or manage for many people, but a few simple steps can get anyone on their way to being debt free.
The first step towards decreasing debt is to stop creating debt. People who amass a lot of debt often get into a mindset of spending tomorrow’s money, but that only leaves today feeling pinched. Examine spending habits and be aware of what items are necessary for today, and which items are not. Getting out of old debt is easier to manage if a person is not actively creating new debt.
The next step to getting out of debt is to organize all bills and outstanding balances owed. When a person organizes their bills and has a firm grasp on what they owe, they can make better decisions about where their money goes. Also, money spent on late fees, overdraft fees, or over the balance fees is money given away in vain. A person actively trying to get out of debt will do so much more effectively if they are paying their bills on time. To aide in the organization process, a person can buy special folders or create a filing system to keep track and organize bills. A desk calendar marked with bill due dates will help ensure a person committed to getting out of debt doesn’t miss a payment and earn additional fees or accumulated interest.
The third step towards getting out of debt is to increase monthly payments. Paying more than the minimum payment applies more money towards the balance and costs an individual less in interest over the long run. Adding even five additional dollars per payment can reduce the number of payments made of a loan or credit card. Reducing the number of payments made decreases the amount a person pays in interest and fees.
Additional debt management strategies include seeking help from a debt consolidation agency, refinancing, or applying for a loan. When a person has several high interest loans, high interest bills, or higher interest credit cards, they pay more money for the things they bought than those things were actually worth. High interest rates slow down the dent made in the principle owed, and can add years to repayment. Sometimes, one loan can be achieved at a reasonable interest rate, and can be applied to the other debts. This reduces the amount of monthly payments made, and decreases the dollars each month spent vainly on interest.
Getting out of debt can be a life goal, or it can be a goal achieved daily through little steps. Debt can be manageable, but a person must be hands-on about their financial health. A hands-on, educated approach decreases confusion and increases the speed at which debt dwindles and savings increase.