The first step a person needs to take in getting out of debt starts with a monthly budget (spending plan). A person has to know where their money is going and be able to control it before they have any hope of getting out of mountains of debt. Even though the “debt” category of your budget is out of balance with the rest of your budget you can start to attack it little by little. Before you know it, you will be on the road to financial freedom.
The second step to controlling debt is putting aside your credit cards. Grandma didn’t have one back in the day and you don’t need one either. You may have to be brutal with yourself on this one. Just. Stop. Buying. On. Credit. To do that, a person has to buy things the old fashioned way – with cash. Buying with cash makes you “feel” every purchase and it is guaranteed to help lower your overspending.
With these steps in place, now you are going to begin attacking your debt. Dave Ramsey has a good plan (see daveramsey.com) called the “debt snowball.” Simply stated, start with the lowest debt balance first and pay all you can on it each month with every extra dollar you have (hopefully you are paying more than the minimum monthly fee). Once paid off, take that same monthly amount and add the minimum payment of your next higher debt and attack it like your life depends on it. After that, attack the next higher debt balance and so on. Before you know it, you have a lot of money available to work on those last few credit cards and they will be done in no time.
Certainly, there are other ways to bring down your debt. One example would be to work on the debt with the lowest interest payment. However, Dave Ramsey has a proven track record that incorporates the power of emotion. Paying off debt and getting some early victories feels good! You will want to keep at it.
A couple of great resources can be found at: daveramsay.com; crown.org; nfcc.org
Pro 22:7 “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.