When your debt is out of control and you don't want to consider bankruptcy, what do you do about it? How do start to transition from financial child to intelligent behaving adult? Here are some steps that you can take to prevent yourself from getting into more debt, and help yourself eliminate some of the debt that you are currently dealing with.
#1 - Put Your Credit Card Away; Literally!
If you have a difficult time saying no to purchases, or you get that credit card out of your wallet as fast as anything, take your card out of your wallet and put it in a safe place at home where it is not with you. Make the decision that you will leave it there and will only take it out when you absolutely must have it. This one small step will help force yourself to be more cautious in your spending.
#2 - Cancel Those Retail Credit Cards
Retails credit cards typically have the highest interest rates on the market. It is also difficult to stop spending when you feel like you have several payment options. Get rid of these retail cards and keep only one main credit card, which is hopefully the one you have already taken from your wallet and placed in a safe place at home!
#3 - Pay Back Your Debts as Quickly as Possible
If you have a balance on a credit card (or 2 or 6), be sure to pay at least the minimum monthly amount each month on all your debts. Do your best to pay back your debt as quickly as you can by using the snowball method (see article here). By paying off your debt as fast as possible, you will eliminate some of the high interest charges that continue to build as time progresses.
#4 - Consider a Second Job
If you can work even one extra hour or day per week, you will pay back your debts sooner. At the very least, extra work may give you extra wiggle room so that you do not get yourself further into debt over time. Yes, a second job will take up some of your free time, but it will be worth the sacrifice when you have nothing but good debts left in your life.
#5 - Creatively Find as Many Ways to Save as Possible
Look for every way possible to save money. Whether that is by clipping coupons or shopping only during sales, make it work to stretch your dollar. Find other ways to save in other areas, such as your electricity bill. There should be a bazillion different ideas all over my blog to help save some money.
Keep doing the hard work for as long as it takes! Take a bagged lunch to work instead of buying fast food every day. Make coffee at home before you leave for work instead of stopping at the drive-thru on the way there. Stop spending on any unnecessary purchases.
Learning to be frugal takes a little bit of preparation, but it gets easier as time goes on. It might seem like a tough chore at first, but the benefits are wonderful. You will become a more creative person and you will be able to save your hard-earned money for retirement. What better benefits could there possibly be than that?