Every Person in the United States of America is a consumer. That means Americans like buying things, and a lot of things at that. Americans want more no matter what they already have, and in order to feed the habit, they must spend money.
For most, there is a job to financially back their expenditures, but that may not be the case for everyone. The financial situation differs greatly from one consumer to the next; however, one thing that almost everyone shares is debt.
Debt comes from many different places, and is almost a necessity considering you can’t build credit without some form of credit debt and repayment. But what happens to you when this credit debt grows out of hand and soon becomes a burden to you and your family?
The future looks bleak, the interest only makes the debt grow, and the amount of money spent on repaying the balances soon takes away your ability to afford a comfortable life.
In short, debt created out of consumer spending can become an American’s worst nightmare. But what if paying back your balances didn’t have to be an enormous and time consuming struggle? What if it were as easy as re-assessing your current financial situation and committing to making some small but significant changes in your daily, weekly, or monthly routines?
Here are just a few suggestions that can help to put a dent in your debt, and begin to take your financial life back on track.
1. Eliminate all your unnecessary bills
Are there any services you are currently paying for but that you rarely or never use, or that you could altogether honestly go without?
If so, consider canceling the service and apply what you would have spent per month on the cancelled service towards your debt payment. For instance, if you never actually use that gym membership, or think you can go a year without that movie rental service, how about forgoing it for the sake of salvaging your financial status?
You can find many small things in your life that can really add up to make a big difference in clearing your debt!
2. Look at your bank and the services you get
Consider downgrading your checking account to a free account and your savings as well. If you were paying a small monthly fee to have “premium” accounts that gave you benefits like free checks or 0.35 percent interest instead of 0.2 percent, think about how often you use these services, or if you’re really making any money at that interest rate.
Also look into online bill paying services; if you have to pay to use this, it may not be worth it. Call the companies you pay each month and see if they’ll take payment over the phone for free.
Banks can sometimes cost more than you realize, and when you save money at the bank you can begin to reduce your debt with increased payments.
3. Think about your eating and shopping habits
This is tough to do, but it benefits you more than just helping to reduce your debt and here’s how. If you love brand name items, consider the generic equivalent.
The generic form is almost always cheaper, and will taste nearly exactly the same. In a household of two persons, the savings per month by buying generic can add up to nearly $150.00 in groceries.
Think about reducing the volume of food, and focus on what is healthy, filling, and can be bought in bulk to avoid higher per item costs.
Another thing to think about is coupon clipping. The savings are amazing, and with every penny saved you will be having much more money that you can put towards debt reduction.
4. Work in a low interest realm
Look into paying down your lowest interest debt first and consolidating other debt into that lower interest environment.
It’s always best to be paying the lowest amount of interest possible.
5. Avoid paying minimums
When your monthly payments go down due to a lower amount due after making each payment, don’t pay the minimum. Continue paying what you were paying prior to the payment being lowered. This will serve to increase the speed at which the debt gets reduced.
Debt reduction doesn’t have to be all about interest rates, minimum payments, and constant worry. It can really be a simple thing that needs to be calmly thought about and carefully taken care of.
Debt is not bad when it’s under 100% control, but, out of control it can be a nightmare. Do your best to understand your debt, reduce it, and get rid of it.