If you’re in debt and you really want to shake the stress off and become financially free, here are some debt-riding tips you might want to consider.
Just so you know, financial advice is not always a one-size-fits-all. It differs from person to person and situation to situation. Ensure to carefully consider your personal circumstances before you apply any advice. And if need be, consider reaching out to a financial adviser for help.
Stay healthy, stay safe
Take a chill pill. Don’t stress. Check in on yourself before you check your balances. And make sure you maintain a healthy mental space. A healthy mind makes healthy financial decisions.
When you aren’t in a good mental space, simple basics can seem like a task, like brushing your teeth, showering and opening your bills to make payments on time even worse so.
Debt causes anxiety, depression and low EQ (emotional quotient). So, do yourself a favor and check in on yourself now and then to maintain your health. Because the bottom line: health is wealth and being free from debt is the first step towards financial freedom.
Write it down
Whether you like seeing it or not, you’ve got to pay your debts. And ignorance is not bliss, here in this case. It’s better to know how much you owe and put a payoff plan in place than work off an ambiguous number. How? All you need to do is simply write down all of your balances so you know exactly what you owe.
Because not knowing how much money you owe can also add to your anxiety. Sometimes, having that number in plain sight can make things feel more manageable and in control for you. In most other cases, it’s not as bad as you thought it would be!
Take some time to comb through all of your accounts and statements. Grab a notebook and write it all down then total it up. You can repeat this process every three months as a quarterly check-in with yourself to watch your progress.
Pay outside the box
You can proactively create a budget to make room for larger payments toward your bill. If you’re money savvy, try budgeting to see how much extra cash you have after your necessary expenses. That way you can use the extras to pay down debt.
Also, shift things around — cancel unnecessary subscriptions and spend less wherever necessary. This will free up extra cash for you to use towards your payments. And you’ll be able to pay off your debt twice as fast and be one step closer to being free. The sooner the better!
Not in time, but before
You know you don’t have to wait for your monthly due date to make a payment! Making extra payments whenever you have extra money can lower your balance and the interest you pay before the next billing cycle. So, go ahead and throw in an extra $20 or $30 at your debt whenever you have. It does not sound like a lot and it can really help in the long run in going debt and stress-free.
Make the transfer
A balance transfer is a type of debt consolidation. Yes, we get the confusion, while “consolidation” implies combining multiple debts, when you consolidate your debts to a single debt you only have to pay one interest rate (and it can be a lower interest rate). A lower interest rate is easier to pay off—for obvious reasons! You can open a new card with a lower interest rate and transfer your balance to that card if you can. Even better: find a card that doesn’t have any balance transfer fees!
Freeze — hands up!
Freeze your credit cards — quite literally and figuratively! By literally we mean stick your credit card in the freezer until in a bowl of ice. That way you curb impulse spending.
On a serious note, one of the most effective ways to pay down debt is to avoid using your credit card too often. And if you froze the card in a bowl of water, you’ll have to defrost the ice around it — that way you’ll have enough time in your hands to second guess your buying decision. Jokes aside, freeze your idea of buying unnecessary items and you’ll be debt and stress free.