THE ONLY WAY TO PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS IS TO STOP SENDING OUT MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN. AND, PAY BACK WHAT YOU OWE.
Whatever the cause of your debt problems - whether you lost your job in a downsizing, lost your senses at the electronics store, or any of a hundred possibilities in between--you must pay the piper. But first, take a deep breath and analyze exactly where you stand right now financially.Here Are Our Top 11 Ways To Get Out And Stay Out Of Debt...
Determine where your money is going (your personal spending habits). Then develop a realistic spending plan (a budget). This is half the battle and critical to your future financial success. For many people, credit abuse is the major cause of financial failure.
Pay-off the principle - Starting with the account with the highest interest rate, (or the lowest balance) start paying as much as you can to that account, until it is completely paid off. Then go to next account and so on.
Cut up and cancel all your credit cards - except one. And then Pay It Off every month.
Use a debit card instead of a credit card. It gives you all the convenience of using a credit card but withdraws money only from your checking account and does so immediately, so you can't dig yourself into a hole.
Don't use credit to buy stuff that depreciates or doesn't give you some income-producing potential.
Don't borrow if you can't pay it back right away. An exception is your home mortgage. Other than that, credit payments should never exceed about 10% of your income.
Be a rate shopper. In the long run, even a small reduction in interest rate could save you a bundle of money.
Put Money-Saving Tips Into Practice. Cut back on home energy consumption. Shop at outlet stores or wholesale clubs. Bring your lunch to work more often. Take advantage of free or low cost activities in your community.
Start saving regularly. You can build up a nice reserve of cash, if you start today. Just take out all your change and $1 bills at the end of each day and put it in a bucket. Then put it into a savings account and by the end of the year, you'll have a nice fund. And establish a forced saving plan with automatic withdrawals from your payroll check or checking account.
Be very careful about using an investment to pay off debt. If possible just keep nibbling away at your credit payments and keep your investments on track with your long-term goals by taking advantage of compounding interest.
Debt Consolidation. Again be very careful. What you save in monthly payments by consolidating debt, you may lose by paying more interest in the long run. If you don't change you spending habits, you could end up in much worse trouble down the road.
Call or Email your local certified Found Money Manager™ today to get your Free copy of the 'Living Debt Free And Truly Wealthy' booklet, based on the 'Found Money Management™' Concepts. Or, call today to register for our next FREE Educational Workshop in your local area.
© 2005 by Lew Nason, RFC, FMM, All rights reserved
Lew has been helping middle American families to achieve financial security for over two decades.