While there are no guarantees in life, it’s always a good idea to plan for the best. If you have debts, you should do everything in your power to get rid of them. The following tips will help you take control of your finances and get out of debt. The first step in debt free living.
Debt is an ugly word for most people. Many don’t fully understand what debt is, how to get out of it, or how it impacts their lives. It can be overwhelming and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! The important thing is that you start taking control of your debt, and that’s what this blog post will help you do. Here are some great tips to help you get started.
If you’re in debt, you’re not alone. Millions of people across the country are struggling with debt, and it can have a detrimental effect on their mental health. The good news is there are plenty of small changes you can make to help yourself achieve debt free living.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), consumers who view their credit cards as an investment are more likely to remain financially healthy, save money, and build wealth. Judge your annual income and determine whether you can take on additional debt. However, you can’t do this if you have a high level of debt in the first place.
And CreditCards.com tell us, the average amount you should pay on your credit card in any given 12-month period is 30% of your average annual income. The amount you pay on your credit card can go up or down depending on several factors including:
Debt Free Living
Keep in mind that you have more control over your credit card than you think. You don’t necessarily have to pay the same amount every month. You can change the terms, like how late you have to pay a bill each month, and set yourself up for maximum rewards. While there are many credit card offers out there, look for benefits tailored towards your lifestyle.
Ask friends for advice and consult a financial professional before making large purchases. While you don’t need to hire a financial professional to help you save money on your credit card, it is advisable to do so if you have a lot to spend.
Do you realize how expensive it can be to replace a faulty product? PayPal charges you interest on customer refunds after a period of time. However, this practice was heavily criticized by the Public Interest Research Group and Consumer Federation of America.
Most companies offer a rewards program based on time spent without linking it to purchases. You can redeem seconds for free or credit towards later purchases.
Your first purchase strengthens rewards program and the more you use the rewards program, the more you’ll earn. Consumers also find it easier to use rewards instead of cash payments. In addition, some rewards programs allow you to add on items anytime. Also, rewards programs offer different payment methods, payments via PayPal, Venmo, and CashU.
The best way to earn extra points or miles with a rewards program is to use them strategically. It’s wise to use rewards to reward yourself for making purchasing choices that are in your best interest. Know the program rules and choose the method that’s right for you. If you don’t make the best use of rewards, they could be lost.
According to Penny Hoarders, it’s best to buy new if you have less than six months to live on the old one. This way, you won’t be prone to the purchasing habits that will earn you interest.
But first, here is the absolute most important question you need to ask yourself about debt:
Is It Really a Good Thing?
Most of us, including myself, think debt is essentially a bad thing. I talk about how I was raised by a single mom whose savings were completely wiped out by one college loan. Many other people’s parents worked like crazed dogs to keep up with their enormous student loans, only to find themselves making minuscule payments to global corporations.
The fact is, many debts are actually good debt. They are used to buy something or something else. You probably don’t want them in your life more than you want a bag of potato chips or some toilet paper.
So, when you look at the above items as things you need to buy, could you do without debt? Yes. Yes you could.
Instead, I see debt as something that should only collect interest for so long and then should be discharged. Anything beyond that is a liability that needs to be paid off in full.
Repay your Debt Free
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There Are Some Good Reasons to Pay Off Debt. Even though debts are detrimental mostly due to the way they devalue your dollar, there are some good reasons for both you and your bank to have debt
It’s really not a hard concept to grasp: The more you borrow, the more you’re likely to earn. When the banks started the debt bubble/crash many years ago, everyone started with a small balance of $1,000 in their bank account as a start. Today, it looks like we owe the bank $50 to $60 trillion.
The only problem we have is that the banks have figured out how to create assets to replace these loans. It’s very frustrating—and outright scary—to see someone you care about have all that debt or even more.
In fact, when I first started to work in the business full-time, major debt made my life much more difficult. I didn’t understand how to manage real estate on a daily basis. Recent changes in the business have made this obsolete, but before COVID-19, it was imperative to have some cash on hand.
We pay huge amounts of interest on our car loans (usually 20 percent, with a few exceptions), but much of that is tax deductible because it’s our passive income.
8 Ways to Get Out of Debt (Without Being Debtor)
Start With Gross. After you’ve figured out your debts by looking at your net worth and running your expenses, tally up your losses and determine your net worth. Then, assume your main source of income (and sources of money) are gone through one of the tips in this article. How much money did you have to live on before you got out of debt?
Keep Accurate Records
Document. You ultimately want to get your finances in order before thinking about paying the debt down. Take pictures at different times (and eras; you want to see all the pictures, not just recent ones) of your house. Do you want to sell it? Take pictures of it while it’s still there.
Figure Out Your Costs. Take a look at your car payment, your phone bill, and your most expensive use of money, credit card debt. What are your typical credit card bills, and what are your average monthly cellphone bills? Look at your actual bank statements, and list out all the accounts with balances that you currently have. Not your balances but your actual balances. What are the typical hours of each account, and for how long do you usually stay in them?
Credit Card debt is probably one of the most expensive forms of debt you can have and should certainly be one of the fist debts to get rid of if you are serious about debt free living.
Watch your Credit Score
Evaluate Your Credit Score. If your credit score is 650 or higher, consider using an online option like Credit Karma. Most credit card companies will give you a credit score for free. You then pay $99 to have that score penaled, or run a credit report and verify your credit history and present it to them. If it looks like you’ve made a bunch of payments towards your debt and have a decent credit score, no worries. You have $400 saved for a one-time payment and a few, weekly, accumulator statements that you can pull online.
Pay the Debt Back. If you are able to eliminate your bad debt, you should consider doing so. Even though it sounds counterintuitive, you should pay off your highest interest debt first. Having $10,000 saved in a separate account but only covering your $10,000 payment toward your high-interest debt will save you both money and time in the future. If it covers only the balance on your high-interest debt, you will get a greater savings that way. But now, you already have that $10,000 available for your next purchase and the purchase of several $100 items, so use it wisely.
Leverage Equity. Instead of buying a car, small hotel, or apartment, use that $100 to buy more furnishing.
The peace of mind that comes with debt free living may just be worth the worry of being in debt in the first place.