“How can I get out and stay out of debt?”
This is usually the common question coming from most people since there are many who are already deep in debt and cannot get their heads out of the water. This is a the bad news as many households in the country are deep in debt.
According to research around 69% of American household are in debt, so if you are one of them don’t be sorry because you are not alone. At the same time the average debt a household has is on the median of $70, 971, increased from the 2000 figure that tells American household has a debt of $50,971. This tells us that more and more Americans are getting in debt, out of proportion and is even getting bigger.
Let me tell you this, this is certainly a problem but a problem that can be solved. It only takes willingness to change your spending habits, money policy and some basic strategies and you will get out and stay out of debt. These are the secret. Well, it is not a secret anymore.
Yes, I know the American culture tells us to splurge and be the consummate consumer to buy things any time given a chance. But this does not mean it is right. You know why it is not right? Because you are now in debt and definitely struggling to pay it off on you meager income.
What you want now is how to get out and stay out of debt.
Here in this article I will share with you the basics of getting out and staying out of debt, if you apply these you will never have to worry about paying unnecessary interest on your credit cards, nor ever will you get into debt again. But as I said it will take some willingness and discipline to do these. They are simple and easy to put into application but willingness and consistency will be the key.
Let’s be real, our common impression of those who want to stay out of debt are boring people with a boring life with a boring way of spending their days. Culture has dictated us to take a splurge the moment we have cash – most of the times with the money still to be had – when the opportunity to do so is given to us, this thanks to media.
It is a common story to hear about a household spending more than they earn. When they get a little hungry they pull up their credit cards get online and order a feast of pizza, burger and other fastfood. When they get a little bored they go out to the mall, shop for some fancy clothes, shoes and dress, oh and there are also trinkets they would have no use later on when they reach home. Got bored again, so they watch a movie and after that, treat themselves for some fancy Italian dinner at an expensive Italian restaurant. Repeat this scenario several times and what do you have here is a credit bill longer than you can imagine. The real problem gets home when its payday and the take home pay is less than the credit card bill.
I will tell you that this scenario is common because you are guilty on some of these from time to time. Now how can you solve this? What’s the best approach to overcome this? You are spending more than you can earn, buying things that are more of a want than a need. A no no in terms of grounded financial intelligence and certainly not a financial practice that can lead you ahead in life.
Here’s what you should do, it is simple but very effective: budget your spending. This is simple but as it is obvious, hard to put into application. If you can do this, you can get out and stay out of debt during your lifetime. So how can you budget properly?
The trick is monitoring your budget expenses for a month, list down all your expenses. The take out fastfood, shopping for branded clothes, going to the movies plus dinner outs every chance you can have. Include also those spur-of-the moment spending. List all your expenses in a month and see where you can cut on your expenses. Of course, with the list you will now see that you have gone to the movies four times in two weeks, have gone to dinner seven times, and went on shopping four times. Cut this off your list.
Now that your expenses have been cut, add this to your monthly bills and mortgages, this will be your monthly expenses. Put this against your monthly income. This way you already have a good picture of a well budgeted expense list. Every time you would go against your budget be mindful that you have no money for these kind of purchases.
Make More Money
When you see that putting off payments for credit account and lowering your food expenses is not feasible, and you keep falling short of your monthly budget, then there is no option for you than to think of making more money.
A good way to do this is get an extra job that can quickly pay off your debts. If you have talent for writing, drawing, transcribing, making videos or any skills that you’re able to develop, you can get some freelancing jobs online. These are just some examples of extra jobs you can have to pay and add to your budget. Choose an extra job according to your skills and talent.
Now going back to making more money, it is only practical that since you have spent that much money that you have to come up with more money to pay it up.
Think also that it is not a bad idea to get an extra job since you can put the money you earn for savings and vacations.
Here’s the truth of the matter, your credit card use habit is the one that put you in a deep hole. How to stay out of debt now means addressing your credit card use.
Just to give you a background on credit card use, American household has an average of $15,863 credit card debt and as more Americans have several credit cards and this just gets higher.
When you avoid using your credit card, it’s definite that you are far away from getting buried in debt.
But before I go on about on your credit card use habit, the first thing that can save you a lot of credit card debt actually begins when you start to get your card. How’s that? Before you get a credit card, shop around for the lowest interest rate, this may look unimportant but you will discover that every interest rate point matters. So what if you already have a credit card with a high interest rate? The wise thing to do is to replace it with a credit card charging at a lower interest rate. This will save you a lot of dollars in the process.
Now let’s go on to how you can get into that intelligent habit of using your credit card. When you want to use your credit card, think it through first. Of course, using our cash gets a feeling of sting when we buy something while using a credit card doesn’t have this feeling. What this gets you is to thinking that you are buying for something that you don’t have to pay for, while the truth is you are going to pay for it later and with an interest. Using credit card for purchases that can be paid by cash is throwing money away. If you can use cash for your purchases, prefer to do it this way, it’ll save you a lot of dollars in the end.
Another bad habit we often develop when using credit card is when you see a high balance, and you keep adding on to it. Some develop this habit, thinking that the balance is high anyway so why not use it instead. I’ll tell you that if this happens to you, when your balance is already high and you cannot make for the monthly payment, stop using your card until you have paid it off.
When you have nothing to use your card for, leave it home. Most of the people who use their credit card make a spur-of-the-moment purchase for things that they didn’t intend to buy in the first place.
Try this as an experiment, leave your credit card at home and do your malling as you usually do. You will notice that you won’t buy anything. This would have been different if you had your credit card since temptation to purchase using it is great. If you can do this, then you can get out and stay out of debt without a problem.
If you want to get ahead in life and be a Life Ninja, staying away from debt is important. You will not experience financial freedom if you are saddled with debt burying you in a hole. Actually, staying away from debt is easy and it will only take a little change of mindset on how you spend your money and how you use your credit card. Apply the things I have shared here with you and sooner or later you will be backed on track on getting ahead in this life. Remember, be a Life Ninja and live rich!