Around 75 percent of Americans are currently in debt according to recent reports. While a certain amount of debt is healthy and normal, having too much of a financial burden can certainly be stressful. Many people are looking for the freedom and peace of mind that comes from eliminating debt. Consider the following ways to reduce debt while building wealth.
Create a Budget
If you’re dealing with too much debt, creating a budget is the best way to overcome it. Start by evaluating your income and expenses. From there, look for ways to cut back on unnecessary spending. Figure out how much of your income you can safely allot to your debts.
Prioritize Debt Repayment
Another important step is to list all your debts and their interest rates. Place those with the highest interest rates at the top of the list. Higher interest rates cost you more in the long run. Focus on paying them off first.
Alternatively, you can use the snowball method to attack your debts. That entails paying off the smallest debts first. As each small debt is paid off, roll over the payment you allotted to it into the next smallest debt. That creates a snowball effect that progressively tackles each of your debts.
Negotiate with Creditors
You could also negotiate with creditors for lower interest rates or more manageable payment plans. Many creditors are willing to work with people. Some of them may be willing to work out an agreement that benefits both of you.
Consolidate Your Debts
Debt consolidation could aid in reducing debt as well. Look into loans you could use to pay down some of your debts, thereby reducing several monthly payments into a single one. Compare interest rates on consolidation loans to those you’re already paying. Some people have found that they ultimately ended up paying more interest in the long run because they didn’t choose their consolidation loans wisely.
Avoid New Debt
While paying off existing debts, refrain from acquiring new ones. Avoid using credit cards for non-essential purchases and pay with cash whenever possible. Creating new debts while trying to pay off old ones could hinder your progress.
Loans with high interest rates cost people far more than they realize. Refinancing could greatly reduce the amount of interest you’ll ultimately pay. Pay attention to the terms of the loans available to you, though.
Sell Unwanted Items
Most people have numerous items they don’t want or need. Those items simply take up space in their homes. If you fall into this category, consider selling those unwanted items to make a little extra money. Then, dedicate the extra money you make to paying off debts.
Build an Emergency Fund
Everyone needs an emergency fund, but only a few people actually have one. Save a little extra money each payday to cover unexpected expenses when they arise. Having this safety net will keep you from having to rely on credit cards or loans when unforeseen expenses arise.
Track Your Progress
Monitor your debt repayment efforts and keep track of your progress. Paying off debt can seem like a slow process. Many people feel like they’re getting nowhere. Having a record of how far you’ve come can help drive away those hopeless feelings.
Freeing Yourself of Debt
Remember that eliminating debt takes time, dedication, and discipline. Stay committed to your financial goals, and use the tips listed above to boost your progress. Before you know it, you’ll be free from overburdening debt.