I am excited to be quoted in this GoBankingRates article about paying down debt by the end of the year, paying down debt being one of my favorite topics!
One of my favorite things to do (unlike most financial planners) is to help people manage their cash flow, aka budgeting. There are many, many economic variables we have no control over: tax rates, the stock market, our salary, the economy, costs of everyday items. But what we do have control of is our spending, and what we do with our dollars.
Once you start tracking your spending, you have awareness, and then you have choice. But until you decide to track your spending, it can feel like you don’t have choices. I promise you, you do. And once you decide to become debt-free and actually become debt-free, you will be rewarded with an incredible freedom you may have never known.
Here are my tips to get out of debt, and read the article for even more tips about how to pay off debt by the end of the year
- Stop using your credit cards! Take your cards OUT OF YOUR WALLET! Right now… I’ll wait. Freeze them in a plastic container of water in your freezer. But don’t close them down as this can harm your credit score.
- Start with the smallest balance first and set a goal. If your smallest balance is $900 and your goal is 12.31.2019, you need to pay $450 in November and December to get it to $0.
- Don’t worry so much about high interest rates if you can accelerate payments. Snowball your debt; pay the minimum due on each card except the one you are targeting. Once you pay that one off, add the amount you were paying to the targeted balance to the minimum balance of the next highest balance. Repeat until each balance is paid off.
- Find an enjoyable side hustle — you can dedicate this extra income 100% to paying down your debt. I have a client with a full-time job who is earning an additional $200/week watching dogs, and she loves dogs. She uses all of the extra income to pay down her credit cards.
- Use budgeting software. I use and teach youneedabudget. It is absolutely critical to have awareness of where your dollars are going before you can change where your dollars are going. Budgeting software will help you prioritize your dollars to live a more joyful life, will help you use credit cards responsibly (once you completely pay them off and trust yourself to pay them off every month), and help you save for your goals, because…
- If you have to finance something, you can’t afford it.
I hope these tips are helpful on your debt-free journey. Keep me posted on your debt pay-down (truly… I love to hear from you even if it’s been a while or never!) and let me know if I can help!