Eliminating debt is not something that can be done overnight. You cannot wake up one morning and say, “hey, I will get out of debt today!” Some people find it difficult to control the urge to make unnecessary purchases not previously planned. The ability to control impulse buying is critical in successfully eliminating your debt. Sometimes you buy the item because it is on sale, or because that outfit is so cute, or because I deserve it…so why not? Be careful! Retailers often do a great job of convincing you to buy something you don’t need at that time. If you continue to spend beyond your means, you will begin accumulating debt, and soon you will be in a deficit that will be difficult eliminate.
Getting out of debt requires creating a plan and faithfully executing it. One strategy that has helped me in significantly reducing debt is the snowball method. This method is a strategy where you pay off your bills in order from smallest to largest, regardless of the interest rate.
To employ the snowball method, you need to complete the following steps:
1. List all your debts from smallest to largest.
2. Make the minimum payments on all debts except the smallest one.
3. Make extra payments on the smallest one. Once that debt has been paid off, take the payment you would have made on it and apply it to the next smallest debt. If you can, make extra payments on that debt.
4. Continue to make the minimum payments on the other debts.
5. Repeat this method as you continue to eliminate your debt.
The more debt you eliminate, the more extra money you will have, and it will be like a snowball rolling downhill. This method also has the added benefit of giving you the feeling of accomplishment. In paying off the smaller debt, you will be encouraged to keep going, and be well on your way to being debt free.
Onwards and Upwards!