A Plan for Getting Rid of Your Debt

getting rid of debtWith interest rates higher than we’ve seen them in the recent past, you may be looking at your debt a little differently. While many loans have a fixed rate that is unaffected by rising rates, other debts, such as credit card debt or loans with a variable rate. These debts are costing you more than they were a year ago, and they are growing faster. Maybe that is just the motivation you need to tackle those pesky debts and eliminate them for good. If you’re in for the challenge, keep reading.

Find the Root

Debt doesn’t just happen. There is always a reason. Sometimes it is a temporary situation that wipes out your emergency savings and forces you to utilize credit. Other times it is a choice to pursue a lifestyle that your income simply does not support. Or it might be caused by a lack of knowledge of basic financial principles or a lack of diligence in overseeing financial activities or a lack of self-control in making financial decisions. Whatever the root cause of your debt may be, it is vital to address it before you can get out from under it. If you don’t, you’ll simply get debt-free only to find yourself back under its control a short time later. If the problem is not obvious to you, ask a close friend for insight or seek the advice of a financial advisor. Find the root of the problem and then you can begin to attack it.

Attack the Problem

Now that you know what caused you to get into debt, you can start to figure out how you can attack the problem.  Do you need to earn more income, reduce your spending, set limits for yourself, adjust your expectations, make lifestyle changes, or a combination of all of these? This part can’t be answered for you. You will need to look at yourself and your situation and decide what needs to be done. Then you need to decide how you are going to do it. For instance, if you need to earn more income, you could look for a better paying job or get a second job for a little while. You have choices and you’ll need to find one that you can live with.

Endure the Pain

Okay so far this has been mostly thinking. Here’s the part of the plan where you start doing. To be honest, this is the hard part, but there is no way around it. Now is the time to implement whatever solution you found for the root of your debt problem. Whether it is working overtime or denying yourself of the latest fashion accessories, there will be pain. If it was easy, everyone would do it. When you feel like quitting, you need to remind yourself that being debt-free is a wonderful feeling. Living without debt can ease your anxiety and give you more choices for your future. As they say, “No pain, no gain,” but in the end, it will be worth it.

Enjoy the Freedom

The important thing to remember is that you are not just working to eliminate something (the debt), but you are also working to attain something (your freedom). When someone holds a debt that you owe to them, you always have an obligation to that person or institution. Without debt, you have the freedom to make choices with your money without being obligated to repay anyone. This can have an impact on other choices such as how you spend your time, where you work, where you live, what you buy, and how much you can give to help others. Additionally, without debt, rising interest rates won’t be as much of a concern.

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