We’ve all been there, and some of us are there right now: debt. Whether it’s paying off some credit card bills, student loans, or even just catching up on last month’s utilities, debt is a factor in many people’s financial lives.
Being in debt and having a plan to get out of debt are two very different frames of mind. If you are in debt, here are some easy steps and methods to get started on your road to personal financial glory.
Know What You’re Up Against
When you’re figuring out how much debt you’re in, take a few minutes to examine the following:
- The amount of debt (looking at these numbers can be hard, but sometimes it makes your actual amount a lot less daunting)
- Monthly interest (are you going to be hammered by interest if you don’t pay it off?)
- Expected length of time to pay it off (timeframes are key here)
Get a Plan
Decide how aggressively you want to pay things off, or how long you’ve got to make it happen. These decisions are a lot easier to make after looking at the three points listed above.
A Quick Example:
Let’s say you’re sitting with $500 in credit card debt and paying 21%/month on interest. That means, each month, you’d be paying $105 in interest, on top of the $500 credit. If you’re paying less than the $105, you won’t be getting out of debt… only keeping the interest at bay.
Figure out how much money you can put towards that debt each month, and stick to it. I sound like a broken record, but knowing how much you owe and how much you have to pay it off will make your climb out of debt that much easier.