The average American debt is said to be at $38,000 — and that’s excluding home mortgages. If you find yourself in debt for thousands of dollars and finally want to dig your way out of the hole, here are some tips that should help.
1. Start with your mortgage.
There’s no question that your home mortgage would be the biggest debt you have in your name — unless you don’t have a home loan yet. If you do, make a point of reviewing your mortgage rates offered by a home loan company in Tempe and see if there’s room for a downward adjustment.
Some contracts come with flexible rates which may be renegotiated if you’re in a strong financial position. If you’re just getting a home loan, however, make sure you’ve checked through all possible providers before making a commitment.
2. Pour all your resources on high interest.
When it comes to credit card debt, it’s best to apply the laddering or cascading approach. This basically means that you’ll categorize your credit cards depending on which one has the highest interest rate.
You’ll focus on paying as much as you can on this high-interest credit card while simply paying the minimum required for all the other credit cards. This way, you can pay off the one with the high-interest rate first.
3. Understand the 50-30-20 ratio.
The 50-30-20 ratio basically means that 50% of your salary should go to necessary expenses, 20 percent to your savings, and 30 percent to your wants. The 30 percent, therefore, is a discretionary amount and if you restrict your “wants” for some time, you can pour in more money in the necessities and savings.
Ideally, savings is subtracted first and the rest is spent on living needs. This way, you’ll always have a safety cushion of 20% for emergency situations.
4. Bundle up your expenses.
Another good technique is to bundle up your expenses to help shave off a few extra dollars. If you’re using a different provider for internet, cable, or phone — you might want to find a company that bundles all that up into one convenient package.
It might mean adjusting on your part as not all packages contain everything you want. However, it will help save a few extra dollars in the month which can go towards paying off credit card debt.
5. Evaluate and downgrade your lifestyle.
Are you the type who just needs their morning coffee from Starbucks? Starbucks can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the course of a month.
You will not notice this because the cost is a mere trickle — but if you add it up, you might be shocked at the overall cost. Studies show that the average American spends around $1,221 on their annual Starbucks habit.
Of course, those are just a few of the techniques you can use to clear the debt in your name. Keep in mind that while the sacrifices you make today may compel you to give up, there’s nothing like the feeling of freedom you get knowing that you don’t owe a single cent.