Paying Off Debt
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
The following is an article “Paying Off Debt”
by Marc Primo.
Most of us start out in life with considerable debt thanks to the way our educational system has morphed into a business-centric model rather than academic. Alas, these are the cards we have been dealt, no use complaining about it.
The question is how long you are willing to stay in debt instead of doing something about it?
1. Get organized
You can use mobile or online finance apps like Mint.com, or make your own Excel spreadsheet. Without having a budget or at least a system in place which tells you how much you are earning and how much you are spending, well then you are just driving blind through a very curvy road.
2. What to pay first
In the process of organizing and figuring out your exact financial status, rank your debts and credit cards from high to low. Prioritize your higher-ranking debts first. You should pay off the balance with the highest interest first, increase your payment on the credit card with the highest ranking and make the minimum payments on the rest of your credit cards. Rinse and repeat until they are paid off and cancel the ones with the least benefits.
3. Use your credit card in a way that benefits you not the bank
I won't ask that you stop using credit cards because there are many advantages such as miles cash back and they help build credit. Just because you have a credit card it does not mean you have to live
on credit. Live within your means and pay your full balance every month. This may sound obvious, but most of us don't do this and keep on accumulating more debt by just spending more than we are earning every month.
4. Extra income
If you receive a bonus a birthday gift, inheritance any income that you were not counting on, please do not spend it, allocate that money toward your debt payoff plan. You will be able to buy the things you want once you learn to manage your money better.
5. Sell unnecessary belongings
Unless you are really struggling to get out of debt this step may seem a bit harsh. Honestly, most of us have things we don't use or need and every day they go unused they lose value. Why not go a bit more Zen in your life and use the extra cash towards getting debt free?
6. Enjoy the process
Debt is part of life. No need to make this a severe torture. Think about it as just another goal to reach in life and set some milestones along the way. Every time you clean a credit card or shave off say $5,000 from a loan give yourself a treat. Just don't go into more debt to do it.