Follow these tips for paying off debt successfully this year!
Many people have the goal of paying off their debt, but how do you transform that goal into your reality? It starts with a plan and with the right mindset.
“If you’d hoped to have made more significant progress paying down your debt this year, but haven’t hit your mark, don’t give up. There are still several months left in 2017. It just requires a more specific, more aggressive debt repayment strategy,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“At the end of the day, becoming debt-free is possible. It’s all about being committed to the outcome by participating in the process every day. No one said that paying down debt is easy or fast, but it is life-changing when you reach that milestone,” says Schwartz.
Ready to get debt-free? Here are tips for paying off debt successfully in 2017:
Did you decide at the ring of midnight that you were going to be debt-free in 2017? Did you actually break that goal down into stages and strategies? That might explain why you are halfway through the year and your debt load is still sizeable.
It’s not enough to say “I want to be debt-free”. You need goals that address the short, medium and longer term. Decide how much you can reasonably pay down month to month to start and then go from there.
Commit to cash
If you haven’t done so already, shelve those credit cards and commit to a cash only lifestyle. There is nothing more discouraging than putting all of that effort to pay down your debt, only to run the balance back up again. It delays your goal and you need to move forward only.
Go bare bones
In order to make up ground with your debt repayment, it is time to shave all non-essentials (and even some “kind of”essentials) from your budget. It’s hard to have such a strict lifestyle for the long term, but if you can see the sacrifice as a short term means to reach your goal, it can be easier to embrace.
This could mean cutting out entertainment, cable, car use, new clothing or buying certain foods and drinks.
Figure out how to raise more cash
Want to accelerate towards your goal? Find a way to get your hands on more money to pay down debt. This could mean selling some of your belongings, renting out a room in your home or getting a part time job on the side. Every little bit helps!
If you feel like you’re not making headway by paying your debts off one at a time, consider consolidating your debts. You can do this through your lender or you can do a balance transfer yourself and combine your balances.
One of the benefits of this is that you’ll have more cash flow. You can likely pay even more down on your debt, to make as many strides as you can in reduction.
While you may have a condensed timeline, be patient with reaching your goal. Maybe you have a substantial amount of debt. Maybe something comes up makes your financial situation different. The key is making the decision to change and sticking to it.