Debts come under different guises these days. Your friend is getting married and wants her friends to wear something unique; so you pick a fabric promising to pay at the end of the month. Someone comes to your office selling costume, jewellery and other eye-catching accessories and you pick some up with a promise t pay up at the end of the month. You see a pair of shoes at the mall that you say you just must have, out comes your credit card, and on and on… by the end of the month, you are swimming in debt. The sad thing is that this is not a one-off thing. In fact, it’s a monthly occurrence; a cycle you have been trying to break. Well, I have some good news for you; below are three strategic steps you can take to help you get out of debt and stay out.
Review Your Habits
Our habits are often a dead giveaway revealing where our major spending flaws lie. Some of the habits you keep may just be the things that are the hole in your pocket; not only keeping you from saving, but also draining your credit line. The fact that you own a credit card should not be a license to engage in a spending spree; after all, you will have to pay back. It’s not that some of the things you engage in are inherently bad by themselves, but placed in the context of your earnings, they may very soon become a sinking ship.
Identify the Problem
This calls for sincerity and introspection. It also involves a good dose of discipline. You may need to challenge yourself into relying only on what you have; that means no credit of any sort. Use only cash and your debit cards, make purchases only on items you can pay for immediately. You can do this for a month or two to help you determine where your excesses are. This exercise will help you identify if you have a spending problem or an income problem. If it’s a spending problem, then you know the solution is to drastically cut down on your spending. If the problem is tied to your income, then you may need to increase your earnings; one way or another.
Create a Plan and Take Action
The idea here is to create a unique strategy for stabilizing your finances for the long-term:
- Find recurring and consistent income from reliable sources
- Establish and live by a baseline budget of expenses
- Create diversified income streams for more stability
- Find a money accountability partner to do weekly check-ins with
- Work with a financial adviser to craft a custom plan of action
The above are just a few of the many ways you can begin the journey to being debt free. It may not be easy when you start out, but in the long term, it will be most beneficial to you and then you can comfortably look towards saving and investing.