Are you tired of living from paycheck to paycheck? Is the financial strain finally getting to you? Do you worry that there is no end in sight?
It’s important to realize that you are not alone. The average American household carries $137, 879 of debt. And some have much more than that. But what makes you different is that you are tired and want to change your circumstances. Doing so may require you to find debt counseling in North Bay or other nearby areas. These kinds of services will help you get a more customized plan on managing your debt and increasing your savings. But here are a few pointers on getting started.
List down all your debts
You cannot deal with what you don’t confront. So the first stage of dealing with debt is determining how much you owe and to whom. Do you have any credit card debts? How many? What is the interest rate on each card?
What about student loans? Do you have more than one? Which ones are of higher interest? Are there some that are smaller in amount and can be easy to tackle?
Having this information at your fingertips will give you an idea of where you stand. It will also enable your debt counselor to create a sound financial plan for you faster.
List down all your financial goals
Is there anything that you want to achieve in life that requires money? Do you want to travel? Are you interested in going back to school? Is early retirement something that you have always dreamed about?
Living a paycheck-to-paycheck existence should not prevent you from having dreams. Having these dreams may be a bigger motivator that helps you stay committed to dealing with debt. Every time you want to give up, you can visualize your desires, and you will regain your momentum.
List down what you are willing to do to get out of debt
To what extent are you ready to get out of debt? Your debt counselor needs to have this information because it can help them form a financial wellness plan for you. Are you in a position to work more shifts? Do you have a hobby that you can monetize? Are you eligible for debt forgiveness? Can you pay off some of your debt in-kind by exchanging other services ethically?
It’s also important to list down the expenses that you are willing to cut down. Anything that is not a basic need should be eligible for reduction or elimination. But some things may be luxuries that keep you sane. Only you can determine what you are willing to give up.
Get started in building an emergency fund
Research shows that 47% of Americans are unable to come up with $400 if they have an emergency. That is alarming and shows a lack of preparedness. Even as you shop around for a good debt counselor, you need to begin the process of building an emergency fund. You could direct some of your annual bonus, birthday gift monies, or tax refund into it to get started.
Paying off your debt is not a one-day affair. You need to be patient with yourself. You should be prepared to stick to the plan you get for the long term. One day, you will no longer have to struggle financially.