The financial burden of being in debt is something everyone is such a situation would love to have magically gone. Debt can be a massive burden more so when you have to settle the debt when working on a shoestring budget. Moreover, the idea of paying the debt seems like a waste when you have little cash to spare for other expenses. Things get overly frustrating when the amount owed is large to the point where much of what you pay only suffices to meet the interests of the debt.
Nevertheless, the money owed will not disappear, and you have to honor your debt. As such, making even the smallest of payments will go a long way in reducing the financial burden. Things may not look like they are working in your favor when you are barely scraping by even to pay your bills let alone having an emergency fund. Be it as it may, you seriously need to look at such issues as you search for ways of settling the money owed. In light of this, below are five tips that can help you be debt-free when working on a limited or tight budget.
1. Come Up With A Payment Plan
The first step towards settling your debts, mainly when dealing with a limited budget, is having a solid plan. Start by knowing how much you are owed and by who. Only then can you come up with a payment strategy that focuses on the essential debts that should be settled first, which you can determine based on various factors such as the terms of the loan, the amount owed and the interest rate.
The next move will be determining the much you can afford as monthly payments. You can rely on online debt calculators such as Bankrate to figure out the amounts. Once you know what to pay per month in total, determine how much will go to each loan. Keep in mind that settling the debts with high interests is better and has its benefits, so other loans that do not require an immediate address (such as school loans) can be given a lesser priority.
Also, try to negotiate the repayment plans with your creditors if you are a bit strapped for cash so that you are not put under pressure to make payments. This will help you save on repayments and make things easier even when things are thick for you financially.
2. Set Up Automatic Deductions
Making even the smallest of payments may not feel worth it if you have a strict budget. But remember the little you can spare for the debt helps. So, set up automatic deductions in your money accounts to help you honor your financial obligations and avoid the many excuses for not make repayments for your loans.
Assuming you take out money from your bank account every month, then you should account for that sum in your budget as you figure out how to settle your debts. In so doing, you will avoid lavish spending since you know that you cannot use such money while someone owes you. So, figure out how much you can a spare monthly for loan repayments and then have that amount automatically deducted and directed toward settling your debts.
Automated deductions are a very reliable way to ensure you honor your loan obligations. However, NOLO advice is to always check for error in their accounts. At times, the bank may fail to make the payment, or the automatic deduction may come out late, and this may lead to problems and unwarranted penalties.
3. Reduce Your Expenditure
Cutting costs is the wise route to take when working with a shoestring budget; you just cannot afford to overspend. That extra money you spend on other less-important things is what you could spare to boost what you have set aside for paying your loans and thus can help see you be debt-free within a short period. Reassess your monthly expenditure and look at what you can do without such as eating out in fancy places, paying for cable TV, or working out at the gym.
Find what to cut may not be easy especially when you have a limited budget; nevertheless, slashing your expenses can help you be debt-free faster than you thought possible. Even the small cuts you think are inconsequential can make a huge difference. You can opt to make coffee or do breakfast at home rather than buying at the Starbucks on your way to work, or even riding the bike to work instead of taking a taxi.
4. Reassess Your Spending Habits
You cannot expect different results when you are doing the something that has not worked for you over and over.
You may think of this tips are though you are stick cutting costs, it is an entirely different approach that focuses on a better management of your money and expenditure. It first focuses on the various reasons for your financial spending and lifestyle that got you into debt. School loans, home mortgage, and medical bills are probably legitimate and an unavoidable necessity. Conversely, the debts you face may be due to your poor spending choices. Whichever the reason, you should cap your spending now if you are to get out of debt.
In short, you need to have a proactive approach when even paying off the seemingly legitimate debts such as the mortgage. Similarly, you need to avoid making expenditures such as purchasing an expensive home. Stay away from the mall and stores if you have credit card debt. Just do your best to avoid spending money; focus on lessening your debts first rather than having them accrue further. It is a philosophy that applies whether you are an impulse spender or a careful one.
5. Get Help
At times, you may be trying your best, but things are just not working out for you. Seeking help in such instances is wise. You can approach a credit counseling agency so that you get advice and assistance on how to overcome that overwhelming financial burden. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is an excellent place to start. You can get professional advice for free or an affordable cost, and you will learn how to develop an efficient money-management plan and how to deal with your current financial problems.
Sometimes taking another loan to settle the most important loans can help lessen the burden. Consider consolidation your loans; it is a strategy that works more so if you have several debts, and then take one loan that will help you pay off the rest leaving you with just a single loan to focus on. Nevertheless, you still do need to evaluate the details of the new
loan especially the interest rate and terms of repayment. Do not take a short-term unsecured loan for such a strategy.
You can as well seek help from close family and friend. Find someone willing to lend you the money or help you settle off the debts at no-interest or low-interest terms.