Small Strategies To Help Yourself Get Out of Debt
So you’ve examined your finances for the millionth time, hoping that something would be different -- anything that might make your bank account look a little less pathetic -- but you’ve arrived at the same conclusion. You’re in debt. Not just a little bit either. A lot of debt.
You’re probably feeling a bunch of confusing and distressing emotions: you’re scared, anxious, frustrated, angry, embarrassed, hopeless… the list just goes on. But here’s the thing: even when you feel like you’re the only one struggling with so much debt, you really aren’t alone at all. Millions of Americans toss and turn at night, wondering how they’re going to pay next month’s rent, or anxiously watch the clock every night until 9pm, when they know that the collection calls will stop (if only for a few hours).
Million of Americans are struggling just like you are, but that doesn’t mean that their struggles are exactly the same. Your financial situation is unique, and getting it solved does matter. So what can you do to help yourself in this situation? Where can you start?
First of all, admitting that you have a problem and that you need to find a solution is a huge step. It’s so much easier to pretend that none of your debts exist, and it’s easier to just unplug the phone from the wall -- but you aren’t doing that. You’re facing the problem head-on. Before you do anything else, we want you to realize that you’ve taken a huge step, and you should be proud of yourself for that.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to business. You’ll probably want to do some research and find a good financial consultant who specializes in debt reduction and debt management. A knowledgeable adviser will be able to help you understand your finances, decide on a realistic payment plan, and possibly even negotiate with creditors for you. When you’re facing a lot of debt, finding a trustworthy financial adviser is one of the most important things you can do.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of steps you can take on your own, possibly before you end up finding an adviser you want to work with. For example…
- Cut back on nonessential items. There are plenty of online forums that offer tips about how to live a minimalist lifestyle, but sometimes all you need to do is evaluate your spending habits. It’s perfectly okay to need a cup of coffee in the morning, for example, but you might not realize how much money you’re spending when you choose to buy that cup at a coffee shop instead of making it at home.
- Spend only what you have. We know that this isn’t always possible -- emergencies happen, after all, no matter what your financial situation is. If you need to get your brakes fixed and you don’t have the money to pay for it, well, no one’s going to blame you for putting that on your credit card. On the other hand, you should probably stay away from purchases like a new TV or designer purse.
- Try to find new income. Maybe this means finding a part-time job on the weekends, or maybe it means looking into freelancing jobs. There are plenty of ways to turn small hobbies or interests into sources of income -- you just need a little bit of creativity to figure out how. Remember, this doesn’t have to last forever. But you’d be surprised by how even a little extra money can help to pay off debts.