The hardest part about paying off your debt is often finding out where to start. We’re here to help you take the first step towards becoming debt free. I know firsthand how hard it can be to pay off debt because not too long ago I was over $50k in debt. It took three years, hard work, discipline and a lifestyle change, but today I am proud to say that I’m living debt free.
This is the actual plan I used to pay off my debt:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
They say that admitting you need help is the hardest part. It definitely was for me. I knew my unpaid credit card balances were adding up very quickly, but I kept spending because I wanted to have nice clothes, take fun vacations and furnish my apartment with pretty things. I came to learn that none of those things really matter in life. What does matter is having financial stability.
I got to a point where I couldn’t pay my rent and afford eating at the same time. That’s when I knew I needed help. I talked to a credit counselor to figure out my options. I could declare bankruptcy or make a plan to pay of my debt. I chose the latter.
Making a realistic spending plan
After talking with a professional, I decided that bankruptcy just wasn’t the right option for me. I had gotten myself into a financial mess and I was ready to face the consequences. I created a spending/income report to see where I could cut expenses and how much I could really afford to put towards my debt repayment every month.
Cut back expenses on everything
I quickly learned that I could actually afford to pay off my debt in full in just three years, but it would require a complete lifestyle change. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it had to be done.
I got a second job, moved to a cheaper apartment and cut all luxuries out of my life from eating out with friends and watching cable to subscribing to magazines and taking vacations. Now instead of paying $105 per month for cable I pay $8.95 per month for Netflix.
Set up automatic payments to pay off your debt
This is the one change that single handily helped me become debt free. I was tempted to spend the extra income from my second job and expense cuts so I set up automatic payments to make sure that didn’t happen.
If you want to pay off your debt set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your debt payments, that way the money is gone from your bank account before you even wake up on payday. Once you start to see your credit balances go down, you won’t even miss the money.
Make lump sum payments with extra cash
You’re probably thinking what extra cash? Using surprise windfalls such as a year-end bonus or tax refund can help your debt get paid off a lot sooner. If you want to pay off your debt, why not start today? Contact one of our credit counselors and let us help you be on the way to living debt free.
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY