With rising credit interest rates and ever increasing credit fees, everyone desperately wants to get out and stay out of debt. Unfortunately, more than it has ever been before, this is something that is much easier said than done. Still, there is hope. With a bit of belt-tightening, some smart spending decisions and keeping an eye on the details, it is possible for you to live debt free, even with the current economic climate.
According to industry insiders, the average American family owns at least one credit card. Credit cards are very convenient when it comes to payment. They can even be lifesavers in situations where there is no cash immediately available. However, credit cards can be deceptively convenient when it comes to purchases. So much so that most credit card owners find themselves surprised by the amount that they have to pay after they've gone through a spending spree.
Sooner than they think, they find themselves deep in debt.
According to experts, if a person's take home pay loses 20% to nonhousing debt, then he is overextended. Another indicator of overextension is when 30% of a person's monthly income go directly to paying the rent or the house mortgage. Other indicators include not knowing the total amount of debt, paying only the minimum balance in credit card bills and borrowing in order to pay debts.
If you find out that you are overextended and unable to keep up with your debt payments, don't panic. You can still get yourself out of debt, though it will require some effort.
The first step to get out of debt is to keep track of where the money is going. This is not as trivial as it sounds. Little purchases, bank fees and other small amounts that most people take for
granted often add up to a considerable amount at the end of the month. It is best if you keep a written record of the month's expenses. This makes it easier to track where the month's budget is going.
By keeping track of your expenses, it is then easier for you to find out where the money is going and whether some of it can be diverted to payoff your debts. This often mean that you will have to get creative. For instance, you might consider bringing lunch instead of buying lunch from the cafeteria or your favorite fastfood place. The main goal is to minimize your monthly spending. This way, you can free up money to pay off debts.
When paying of your debts, make sure to prioritize debts with higher interest rates. If at all possible, transfer your high rate debts to your low rate credit cards. Look for low rate cards and transfer to them. Try to minimize using your credit cards and, if you really have to, comparison shop. Also, limit your credit card purchases to necessities as much as possible.