‘Crippling debt’ is a phrase we hear all too frequently, and in a culture that values financial success above almost all else, it comes as little surprise that those who find themselves in debt often equate it to physical and debilitating pain. Because of the varying circumstances that can lead to debt, it can be difficult to speak generally about it. However, we will attempt to highlight and discuss some of the ways that you can organise your finances, your outlook and your attitude with the aim of reducing the amount of money that you owe.
Make a budget
Making a budget is a great first step in addressing any debt problem. Keep it simple to begin with and identify exactly what your income is, and exactly what your average monthly outgoings are. Apps like AdroMoney for Android and Mint for iOS help you to track your spending habits, view your various accounts and allow you to set goals and warnings. In this digital age there have never been so many inexpensive online tools help you out. Be sure to take advantage of the resources available.
Cutting down on costs is a natural next step after identifying your monthly outgoings. You haven’t been to the gym in 6 months, so why are you still paying your subscription? Dig your old bike out of the shed and cycle to work. Not only will your cardiovascular fitness improve for free, you’ll save the money you usually spend on the commute. Perhaps you’ve been charged for going over your data allowance for the third month running, why not set a cap? Looking at your spending habits and making logical, and if necessary, difficult, decisions can really help to free up a little more spare cash.
Make your payments automatic
It is sad to see money leave your bank account of its own accord, but by making all necessary payments automatic, you eliminate the risk of incurring charges on top of what you already owe and the temptation to spend the money on something else. By putting debt management plans in place and setting automatic payments, it is also possible that your creditors will allow you to reduce the amount you pay back each month to give you a little more breathing space.
Change your outlook
Don’t allow yourself to be crippled by debt. No matter how bad you think it is, if you are disciplined, you take the proper actions and commit yourself to improving your financial situation, it will get better. It may not happen overnight and it’s hardly going to be the most fun you have ever had, but your chance to breathe a sigh of relief will come. Debt is something which you have to take a proactive approach to, being passive is as damaging as being ignorant.
Ask for help
Internalising the distress that debt can cause will only ever ultimately exacerbate the negative impact it has on your everyday life. Don’t be afraid to discuss your problems with your family and close friends. By sharing your concerns you may find that those around you might have been through similar troubles. Those closest to you could even offer you support, and whether it is financial or even just someone to talk to, it could make all the difference.
Help with personal debt from a Solicitor is also an option worth considering. Learn more about how LawBid can help you to find a debt solicitor on our service area.