Have you ever started a debt repayment plan, only to find yourself in deeper debt? If so, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Many people have trouble sticking to a budget, especially when they have multiple debts. So how can you pay off your debt while staying on a budget? Here are some tips and tools that will help you get out of debt faster.
Set up a budget
The first step in paying off debt is to set up a budget. A budget is simply an organized way of tracking your spending, so you know where your money is going and so you can make better decisions about how to use it effectively. A good budget will help you avoid overspending, help you save money for emergencies and other important things, as well as pay off debt faster compared to if you had no plan at all!
In order to set up a good personal finances system (and therefore get ahead on paying off debt), there are two main things you need to do:track all expenses and figure out which ones are necessary versus unnecessary (or “wants”). Once you cut down on the unnecessary expenses, you can figure out how much you can put towards paying off debt each month and how to avoid taking on more debt going forward.
Tackle your debts in order of priority
List your debts in order of priority. This will help you decide which ones to pay off first and how much money to set aside for each one. Do you have credit cards with high interest rates? Pay those off first so they don’t keep growing while you pay down other debts. Once your high interest debts are gone, move on to lower interest loans like student loans or car payments–you’ll feel more motivated when there’s less money going out each month. Another option is to start with the smallest balance and work your way up; this will help you feel like you’re making progress and keep you motivated! When you have your debts in order of priority, make a plan to pay them down. Your strategy should be based on how much money you can afford to pay towards each debt every month.
If you have over $10,000 of debt, consider using a debt settlement program like ACCS. They’ll handle all of the negotiations with creditors on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about working out payment arrangements or dealing with collection agencies. You’ll pay off debt significantly faster and for less than owed. Plus, with a debt settlement program, you can consolidate all of your monthly debt payments into one single monthly program payment that works with your budget. It’s an affordable and simple way to pay off debt.
Don’t use your credit cards except for emergencies
The first rule of paying off debt is to not use your credit cards except for emergencies. If you’re carrying a balance, it can be tempting to charge more things and make payments on those balances instead of focusing on paying down the original debt. That will only get you deeper into debt in the long run.
If you have no choice but to use a credit card (for example, if you need something right away), pay off that balance as soon as possible by making additional payments above and beyond what’s due each month.
Don’t give up on all things you love to save money
You know what they say: “If you cut off your nose to spite your face.” That doesn’t mean you should never sacrifice anything, but it does mean that you shouldn’t give up on everything essential to your health or lifestyle. If cutting out coffee will make it impossible for you to pay off debt, then figure out ways to spend less like making your own lattes at home as compared to ordering coffee out every morning.
You also shouldn’t give up things that are important parts of who you are as a person–and this includes the hobbies and passions that help define us as human beings. If spending money on art supplies helps keep your creativity alive, then by all means keep buying those paints, responsibly of course!
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what is worth sacrificing and what isn’t. The important thing is that you use your judgment wisely and don’t make rash decisions that could hurt your financial or mental health in the long run.
If you’re struggling with debt, don’t be discouraged. You can pay it off and start fresh by making small changes in your spending habits and maintaining a budget. You don’t have to completely give up things you love in order to save money–just cut back a little on the items that aren’t essential or necessary. The most important thing is to develop a spending plan that works for you, and stick to it! If you’re serious about becoming debt-free and saving for the future, then you’ll find a way.
If you’re interested in learning more about how the ACCS Debt Relief program can help you pay off debt on a budget, request a Custom Debt Relief plan here.