Bills, Debt and Interest: Top Tips to Get a Handle on Your Bills

bookkeeping-615384_640You’re in deep. How do you get out of debt when you can’t even count up the number of monthly payments you make right now? Believe it or not, it’s easy to get out of debt. Here’s how those that are now debt-free did it.

Pay More Than The Minimum

If you want to get out of debt, you have to do at least a few things differently than what you’re doing now. First, you must pay more than the minimum payment. This might mean foregoing other expenses you want to make right now. But, if you think about it, it makes sense to do this.

If you’re in debt, it means you already spent tomorrow’s paycheck. You need to make good on that. So, rather than think about not getting stuff today, think about the fact that you already got a lot of stuff with money you never really had to begin with. You’re already “ahead” in that sense.

It’s time to pay that off. In article about clearing debt, the author makes a strong case for using a spreadsheet budgeting method to organize all your income and expenses. That’s probably a great idea if you don’t have a budget already.

It will help you figure out how much more you can afford to put towards those debt.

Pay Off High Interest Debts First

Some people like to use a method called “snowball” to pay off their debts. Basically, this method requires you to start with the smallest balance first, pay that off, then move onto the next highest balance. You can certainly do this, but you will almost always pay more in interest this way, unless the smallest balance is also the highest interest debt.

It makes more sense to pay off the highest-interest debt first, because this lets you pay down your debts in the most efficient manner possible. By starting with the highest interest debt first, you eliminate the debt faster, which reduces the cost for that debt — interest.

Think of it this way: if you had a debt you paid 0% interest on, and one you paid 20% interest on, does it matter what the debt size is? The 0% debt costs you “nothing” so to speak. But, even if the 20% interest is on $500, that debt will always cost you more. Always. You could plug away at your debts with low interest, and feel good about getting them paid off, but you will be racking up more interest on other debts that will negate the benefits you got from paying off your low-interest debts.

Get A Side-Hustle

We all want more money. But, there comes a point where you just can’t get it from your current job. If you’re maxed out on hours, and you can’t seem to make more where you’re at, it might be time to pick up a second job or a “side hustle.” The “gig economy” is huge right now.

You could try driving for a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft, or you could pick up some freelance work on the side, writing for content-marketing companies, doing web design or development, or helping out with other small tasks that businesses willingly pay good money for.

With sites like TaskRabbit, and Upwork, nearly everyone can find something that they can do to earn extra money.

Create And Live Within A Low Budget

When your commitments are low, you can naturally save more money, and have more. When you saddle yourself with debts, you create obligations that you can’t welsh on. And, that means you have to pay out more and more. You can’t save, and you can’t pay down debts.

So, live a minimalist lifestyle, even after you get out of debt. It will keep you free and fee up opportunities for you.

Look for Deals

When you are going out, making a purchase, traveling, or just about anything where you are parting your money. Spend some time searching online for vouchers as you can stand to save usually at least save anywhere between 10% and 60% on your purchase.

Sell Everything You Don’t Need

We all have more stuff than we need. Try selling some of these things. You know which ones. The stuff that’s just hanging out in your garage or basement that’s collecting dust. You know you don’t ever use most of these things, so why not hold a yard sale?

Raise money and then use that money to pay down your debts.

Ask For Lower Interest Rates

Seems almost too obvious, right? But, if you call up your banker or credit card company and just ask, you may receive. Tell them that you’re experiencing difficult financial times. You want to pay your bill, but you are finding it very difficult.

Believe it or not, asking for a lower interest rate is pretty common. And, if you have a solid history of paying on time, there’s a great possibility that they’ll give it to you.

Danielle Atkins is an organized Mom who has the family finances finally under control. She loves to write, and as a caring, helpful person, enjoys knowing that her articles are helping people she has never met.

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