Debt keeps you down and makes it hard to live a fulfilling life. When your bank balance teeters on empty, your credit cards are maxed out and debt collectors keep calling, it’s natural to feel discouraged and want to give up and stop trying.
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If you’re tired of dragging around the albatross of debt but think you’ve tried it all when it comes to unshackling yourself, read on for secret debt reduction tips.
1. Daydreaming Can Help You Get Out Of Debt
When it comes to debt, daydreaming is good for you. Of course you don’t want to spend all of your time fantasizing, but taking a few minutes once or twice a day to visualize your credit card balances at zero does wonders for your chances of success.
Mindful meditation lowers your blood pressure and puts you in a positive mindset regarding paying off your debt, which will help you take positive actions.
2. Have Your Family Commit to a Budget
When you all vow to get out of debt, it’s easier to stick to a budget. If you start to waiver in the face of a new purchase, your significant other or another family member can be the voice of reason and stop you from digging yourself deeper into debt.
3. Get Out Of Debt By Seeking Out a Better Credit Card Deal
No doubt you’ve heard the warning to avoid taking out further credit. While this is true in practice, it’s important to look at how much money is flushed away each month in interest. If you have a credit card with an interest rate higher than 13.99% percent, ask your credit card company to lower the interest rate. If it’s already lower than that, lowering it might be difficult.
If the credit card company won’t lower your rate, apply for a balance transfer credit card with a 0% interest rate and use it to pay off your former card. When you do this, if you think you might be tempted to use the paid off credit card, cut it up.
Use a debt repayment calculator, such as the one on CreditKarma, to see how much you’ll save each month by switching cards.
4. Avoid Late Charges – Increase Your Chances Of Getting Out Of Debt
The amount of money that goes into late charges can cripple your efforts to pay off your debt. Whenever possible, avoid paying late fees. If keeping track of when your bills are due is difficult for you, consider using an app like Check that reminds you when it’s time to pay.
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5. Check All Your Balances Daily
Sound like overkill? It’s not. Constant reminders are your best bet for getting out of debt. If you only look at your balances once a month when you pay your bills, after a couple of days the reality of your debt starts to fade in your mind. Then when a spending opportunity presents itself, you’re more likely to bite and get yourself into even more debt.
Every morning when you wake up take a look at your debt situation. Seeing it in black and white will encourage you to stick to your budget, and watching your debt being paid off keeps you encouraged throughout the day.
6. Announce Your Get Out of Debt Plans
Forget the taboo on talking about money and let your friends and family know your plans for whittling down your debt and getting rid of it. Encourage them to regularly inquire about your debt. Not wanting to tell Aunt Millie that you slipped up and splurged will encourage you to stay on track with your budget.
7. Try Debt Consolidation
If you can’t seem to budget and pay off debt on your own, consider a debt consolidation program. This would consolidate your debt into one monthly loan payment. Such a plan usually also means paying a lower interest rate.
8. Consider Student Loan Forbearance
If student loans are making it difficult to dig out of debt regarding your other bills, you may qualify for a forbearance, which is a temporary halt to payments or a reduction in the amount you pay for up to a year. This allows you to funnel your money towards your other debt.
9. Never Pay Retail
Make it your mantra until you get out of debt to never pay full price. Always seek out a bargain for your purchases, and if you can’t find a deal on brand names, use generics.
You can save a great deal of money that can be directed to paying off debt by shopping sales, requesting price matching and store coupons that can be found online or through smartphone apps, such as RetailMeNot.
10. Keep Accounts at Two Separate Banks
Dividing and conquering works like magic when it comes to paying off debt. Put into your everyday living checking account just enough to cover daily and monthly expenses. Direct your debt payoff money into another account, such as an online bank.
Don’t carry the debit card for the debt payoff account with you, so you won’t be tempted to use the money for everyday purchases or worse, splurges. Pay off your debt and only your debt from that account.
11. Secret Tip To Getting Out Of Debt : Banish Guilt
No doubt you kick yourself every time you look at your credit card bills or you hit ignore on your cellphone when a debt collector calls with the nasty reminder of how you overspent. You didn’t get into debt on purpose, so lighten up on yourself. It will be a lot easier to stay clearheaded and move forward and pay off your debt if you say no to guilt.
12. Celebrate Often
More than anything, sticking to your debt payoff program requires that you keep a positive mindset. Once you start slipping into negative thinking and tell yourself you’ll never climb out, you start making poor choices with money. Set aside a small amount of money to reward yourself at the end of every week for sticking to your budget.
Living in the negative when it comes to your finances is definitely a downer, but using these tips will help you climb out of debt so you can enjoy financial freedom.
Contributors : Julie Bawden Davis.