A blog post about personal debt has been forming in my mind lately and I have been wanting to write about this for the past several weeks.
There is so much shame, self blame and anxiety about debt.
Firstly, this problem cannot be addressed from a place of negative emotion..
There is always a good reason why this happened.
It could be overspending to cover up a deeper unmet need, student loans, or health issues.
The debt you currently have, has served a purpose for you.
Paid for your college degree.
Paid or you to be healthy.
Paid for you to invest in your future.
One emotion you can perhaps begin to feel would be grateful..
Your debt allowed you to have the money to do something you otherwise would not be able to do..
From that place of gratitude you can start taking the following steps..
a) Make a list of the debt you owe. List the amount, interest rate, and minimum payment you pay monthly.The first step is the most difficult. Reward yourself when you have done this. Good job! You are shining the light on an area of your life you’d like to improve.
b) Figure which debt to pay first. There are two main methods on paying off debt.
One is based on the interest rate. Pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first and then move onto the debt with the next highest rate.
The second method is based on balance owed. Start by paying off the smallest balance first and then move to the next. This is method allows you to build confidence first and as your confidence increases you start building momentum.
c) Calculate how much you’d like to pay each month.
Any amount in addition to your minimum payment will save you substantially in interest payments. Even if you could do an additional $20 per month that is better than nothing at all.
Negotiate lower interest payments. Yes, you heard right. You can call the credit card company and ask them to lower your interest rate. There is 50% chance they will do this for you. Especially if you have been a client for many years. You can also cite other credit cards company who will offer you zero interest for a period of time. Add the amount you saved on interest to your monthly payment.
Create a spending plan that is in alignment with your values. For example, if you are not into cars or computers cut back ruthlessly on your spending on these items. This can create extra dollars for you to add to your monthly payments.
Earn more money. There are ALWAYS opportunities to earn more. Whether you have a job in Corporate America or have your own business. Start to brainstorm ways in which you can increase your earnings and put that plan into plac
d) Come up with a plan of action and stick to it!!
Automate the amount you would like to pay off every month so this is done without you even having to think about it. Stick to the plan and you will be on your way to OWNING your debt!