Simple Ways to Become Debt Free (Part 1)
More households than ever have a substantial amount of debt; whether it be student loans, home or car loans, credit cards and so on. The numbers can seem overwhelming, but not all hope is lost. There are so many strategies to get out of debt and regain your freedom. We at BillCutterz hope to make things easier for you by breaking down the emotional strain of debt and give you a few realistic options to paying it all off so you may become debt free. To keep from overwhelming you, we’re breaking our “Simplest Ways to Become Debt Free” into two series. In the first, we’ll show you the importance of making a budget and the difference between the snowball method and the avalanche method.
Budget Every Single Cent
Before you can start planning how you’re going to go about getting rid of debt, you need to know where every cent goes. For an entire month, religiously track every single expense for you and everyone in the household. Record everything from utility bills and rent, to coffee and donuts in the morning. The reason you’re tracking every expense is to see how much you’re spending on junk, thus how much can go to debt each month without making matters worse. The best way to tackle debt is to live as frugally as possible so you can pay the debt off faster, thus become debt free faster.
By using the snowball method, you tackle the smallest debt you have, then the second smallest, and all the way up to the biggest amount of debt you have. Layout all the debts you have on paper with the amount (hospital bills, car loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.) and put them in order from smallest to largest. Now you can visually see what debt you need to concentrate on tackling, then work your way up. Pay the monthly minimum on all your balances, except for the smallest debt, which you’ll be working aggressively at paying off. Once it’s paid off, move on to the next until you become debt free!
This method helps by creating a visual representation of how you’re going to tackle your debt and it helps those who feel completely overwhelmed by their debt. If you choose to use the snowball method, this useful excel spreadsheet helps by putting all of your debt in one organized, visual worksheet. This doesn’t work for everyone, because some of our debts have interest; that’s when the avalanche method might work better.
This method isn’t as basic as the snowball, but it’s just as effective. This method works by targeting the debt with the highest interest rate. No matter if it’s student loans or credit card debt, pay off the debt with the largest interest rate and then go to the next. This saves you money in the long run, because of compound interest. Once you eliminate the debt with the highest interest rate, you move to the next one and so on until you become debt free!
When it comes to choosing which method, your decision should be based on you and your circumstances. Make your budget, look at the options and decide from there what you should choose to do. Becoming debt free is attainable if we lay our debt out into understandable terms which are easy to follow. Don’t give up; keep your eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel.
Stay alert for part 2 in our “Simple Ways to Become Debt Free” series.