If you’re currently drowning in debt and tried every method but nothing seems to work, keep reading.
Regardless of how much you owe, the first step is the same. Start with identifying the number one reason you want to get out of debt. I’m not just talking about knowing your ‘Why’. I’m talking about digging deep into your feelings to find a stronger connection to what being debt-free really means to you. While similar to knowing your Why, this step is more focused on the emotions you want to feel once you cross that fence from debt to debt-free.
Don’t only think about these emotions, give them power. Write them down. For example, I will feel…
But I know what you’re thinking. “If I live paycheck to paycheck how can I pay off debt?” Good question.
The answer is simple:
Download this free sheet to help you get Started.
Step 1: Create a Budget:
Start with a zero-based budget. I know this will help you achieve results faster. I love this type of budgeting because it pushes you to assign a job to every, a single dollar that comes into your checking account–even before you get the money. This is powerful. No longer will you be left to the whims of your wants on how to spend each dollar. Now, each dollar has a specific purpose to fulfill. Some people like creating a zero-based budget for each paycheck, others monthly. No matter your choice, here is how it works:
- List all your income (take home)
- Write down all your expenses: Both fixed and variable (variable are expenses that vary every month)
- Cut down unnecessary expenses such as subscriptions or services you no longer need. Do you really need a subscription to Netflix and Cable?
- Start tracking your spending, every dime.
- Finally, make adjustments every month
If at the end of your budgeting, you have left-over money, I have the perfect job for it. Simply assign that to one or some of your current debt.
Step 2: Write down all your debt:
Think about all the debt you currently owe. You can do this on paper or in Excel. Whatever is easier for you. Have a column or section for:
- The total amount of debt
- The interest rate
- Who do you owe it to
- Date debt was acquired &
- Minimum required payment
Step 3: Pay off credit with the highest interest rate first–the Avalanche method.
Paying credit card debt first should be your priority as it’s considered your most expensive debt, given the high-interest rates. Here is how to do it.
The main purpose of doing the Avalanche method of paying a credit card is to get rid of your debt with the highest interest rates first. This will give you the maximum savings in the long run. Of course, you will continue to make the minimum payments on the other credit cards to avoid wrecking your credit score. And by the way, if you happen to have extra money, a bonus on an additional income; direct that cash flow into your highest-interest-rate debt and sit back and watch it melt away.
Step 4: Consider a balance transfer:
The purpose of a balance transfer is to move your current credit card balance to a credit card with a Zero %. This is usually offered for an introductory period of usually 12-24 months.
But here is the catch. You have to have the money to pay off this debt in the allotted time. So before you walk down the zero%-introductory road, take a step back and ask yourself. “Am I really financially capable to pay the balance during the introductory period?” If you can answer yes confidently, then go for it. Otherwise, leave this as a good idea on the back burner for now. Because you don’t pay before the introductory period expires, you will end up right back where you started, in high-interest land.
I strongly recommend that you only do this only if you know you can pay it off.
Step 5: Negotiate your interest rate.
This is often an important step overlooked by many people.
As they say, ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’.
Yes, It’s possible to negotiate your credit card interest rate. All you have to do is ask but don’t walk into a negotiation that can save you mula unprepared.
Start by pulling a copy of your credit report and getting your credit score.
- Call the credit card company and tell them you would like to negotiate your credit card interest rate.
- If you find the customer service representative is not helpful, hang up and call again.
- If still not helpful, ask to speak to a supervisor.
- Be patient. This works