As the year is about to end, you might be wondering if you still have time to defeat debt and regain back control over your finances. You might think that there is not enough time left in the year with just a few weeks left. However, there is no better time than now to start getting your finances in order. Your future self will be thanking you for this decision.
There are a lot of reasons why you need to address your debt payments as early as possible. One of them was shared in a recent CNBC article stating that debt is prohibitive in nature. It makes people think of putting major life decisions on hold. Debt can make people think and stop before buying a home, saving for retirement, having children, and even getting married.
These are just some of the things that you might put off when debt is ruling it over your finances. You might not be able to enjoy the holidays because you do not have any budget for gifts or even food. That holiday you were dreaming about might be on hold because you have a lot of payments. This is why it is a good idea to think of ways to defeat debt before the holiday ends.
With just a little under two more months before the year ends, you might be thinking that time is not on your side. If this is the case, you are worried about quick results which often leads to hasty solutions that can cause you bigger problems. What you need to be concerned about is taking those first few steps in the right direction.
Assess where you are financially
As you go through your journey of defeating debt before the year ends, you need to have a clear understanding of your financial situation. Do not focus solely on the items that are giving you financial stress because it will not give you the complete picture. Include every single detail in your finances to enable you to make informed decisions.
One of the first things you need to look closely into and examine would be your household budget. Assess carefully how your income and expenses match up. You also need to list down all your debt obligations from the biggest all the way down to the smallest accounts. You can be traditional about it and list them down on a piece of paper or just jot them down on your devices.
It will also help if you start learning more about personal finance especially as NY Post shares that many Americans lack general financial knowledge. Once you read up and know more, you are in a better position to
Make adjustments in your budget
The next step is to start making adjustments in your budget once you have a better understanding of your financial situation. You will know what you need to do based on your initial analysis. If your income is more than enough and the problem is mismanagement of funds, you need to properly allocate your money to address your expenses,
If it is the other way around and your expenses are overpowering your income, you need to find a way to balance it out. One of the quickest ways to do it is find an area in your expenses which you can cut down. It can be some memberships and subscriptions that you are not able to utilize. It might even be small yet daily expenses which can add up at the end of the month like coffee and even take-out food.
You can also look for ways to increase your income to help you pay for your expenses and even start saving for future needs. The most common route people explore is taking on a second job. Then there are online jobs you can look into which you can accomplish in the comforts of your own home. There are also some income-positive hobbies that you spend time on. Not only will you earn extra income but be able to spend time doing something you love doing.
Defeat debt with debt consolidation
There are a number of debt repayment options out there you can consider to help you manage and get ahead of your debt obligations. One of them is consolidating your debts where you combine debt payments under one account. It helps you get ahead of your payments having to deal with more manageable payment details.
You can also explore debt settlement where you work with a company who can talk to your lenders in working to lower down your total payment. It could ding your credit score and take you a while to settle all your accounts. You might even have to stop paying them until an agreement is reached. However, finding the right company to work with can make the experience an easy one.
Change your ways
One of the things you might overlook as you try and defeat debt before the year ends is that you have to make some changes in the way you do things. Yes, you would need to lower expenses or increase your income and even rearrange your household budget. However, you need to make changes in your habits as well.
You have to understand that even if you pay down your credit card debts, you could easily rack up your charges again if you do not change your ways. If you know that you are an impulsive shopper, leave your credit cards at home and use cash. If you keep buying food on your way home, try to learn how to make dishes at home. You need to make changes with the way you dod things so you do not end up in the same place as before and defeat debt altogether.
Start saving for the future
Part of getting ahead of your debt problems is to make sure that you are prepared for whatever might happen in the future. Preparing for that means saving for the future in the form of having an emergency fund or even a retirement fund to get you through your golden years. Not to mention that these can also help you manage financial anxiety as well.
Do not be overwhelmed with the numbers you need to put up. The idea is to start small and develop the habit of saving. Once it comes naturally for you, increase the amount gradually until you reach your target. The objective is to develop the habit of saving first with small amounts so you do not struggle setting aside a bigger amount in the future.
Make use of technology to help you defeat debt
There is no question that technology can be a great tool in managing personal finance. As such, you can use this to help you get started in tackling debt. One thing you can take advantage of is using your own bank’s online banking platform if they have one. This allows you not only to monitor your funds but make transactions as well. It can be anything from payments, automatic money transfers, or even investments.
You can also consider reminders using your gadgets to help you remember any financial timeline you need to keep. From payment due dates, investment schedules, and even when you need to transfer money to specific accounts. Of course, you can also use automatic transfers to automate the process and make it a lot easier for you.
It may sound like an arduous task to try and defeat debt before the year comes to a close but you can get started with it. The sooner you do, you get to end the year on a high note and have a great start to a new year.