What Is The Answer To Getting Out Of Debt?*

*This is a collaborative post*

It could threaten to override our entire life, struggling with debt is one of those things that we all encounter at some point. When we find that we're living a paycheck to paycheck existence, and we are leaning on credit cards to help us with basic payments in life, have we got ourselves into a cycle that we are unable to escape from? What is the answer to getting out of debt?

Avoiding The Minimum Payment Mentality

It's easier (and less stressful on our wallets) to make the minimum payment. But when you factor in the APR percentage, this minimum payment is not enough. And while there are approaches that can really benefit us in this respect, like the debt snowball method, it's more to do with avoiding paying off the minimum payment. If you can get into the habit of paying a little bit more, this can give you a sense of purpose and will help you to pay off the debt quicker. While paying off more than the minimum payment helps to save on interest throughout the life of your repayments, it's important to make sure that you aren't bending over backwards too much to pay off this minimum debt. Because if you are paying off the minimum, but it's impacting your life elsewhere, you've got to reevaluate your lifestyle.

The Relevant Lifestyle Alterations

If you want to pay off debt quicker, you've got to get into the mindset of putting everything you can into paying this off. We can struggle with major alterations in our life, because they aren't learned habits. The first thing you really have to do is to go over your debt in comparison to your outgoings. Because if you're not able to see how much you're paying for the basic things in life, it may be a big shock to the system when you realise exactly how much you money you're wasting on things overall. When you look at your budget, cutting corners via the little things will benefit. A good example would be the brand of food that you buy. Can you go to a cheaper brand? Every penny will count. And in addition to this, there are apps that can help these days. Plum is one such app that looks at your bank balance and calculates a very small percentage of what you can afford to put away. If you can then leave this accumulate, this money can go towards something nice for you later on, or paying off additional debt.

What If It's Not Working?

Sometimes we've got ourselves into such a cycle that it's completely unbearable. Professional help is always worth pursuing, whether it's debt consolidation solicitors, or speaking to Citizens Advice to provide you with extra options. Bankruptcy is one of those things that can be the last chance saloon. But it can wipe the slate clean, especially if you've done everything you can but there's too much debt for you to cope with.

Unfortunately, that is one of those common aspects of life, but it stops us doing the things we want, whether it's buying a house, or even going on holiday. And while you don't want to feel like you are constantly paying off debt and living a grim existence, it's about striking that right balance and making the most of life, while also making sufficient progress to get out of debt.

*Contributed by Sam Jones*. Header image: Pixabay

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