One aspect of personal finance that no one seems to like is debt. Being in debt can be a terrible experience, and if you are already stuck in one, this piece is written for you.
Imagine a man who works hard during the day and goes home at night only to have a sleepless night because he is owing. That is what debt does to debtors.
It prevents them from living the life they wish to live and at the same time gives them no rest of mind.
However, while it may be argued that debt can be useful in meeting certain financial goals, it is equally important to get rid of it as fast as possible, if you can't completely avoid it.
Here are five simple steps to help you get rid of debt.
1. Make a conscious decision to stop borrowing
You only become a debtor when you borrow. And if you really want to stop being a debtor, you'll need to stop using debt to fund your lifestyle.
That means you'll have to stop taking loans for big purchases. Signing up for credit cards has to stop; and also say bye bye to borrowing money to buy things you don't really need.
Giving up all these allows you to service your current debt if you have any. But if you aren't owing anybody, congratulations. You can now focus your personal finance effort on meeting your financial goals.
2. Have an emergency fund
You might be wondering why having an emergency fund is so important in personal finance.
See, whether you are owing or not, an emergency fund is very important to everybody. Not having it is like having no savings for emergency situations. It is meant to help you when you have an emergency situation.
Not having this fund could prompt you to borrow when an emergency does happen.
3. Create a realistic budget and stick to it
If you are working hard to prevent yourself from getting into debt, you need to have a working budget that tracks your income and expenses.
4. Organize your debt
So, for those already in debt, apart from taking the three tips mentioned above, you also need to map out a plan to offset your debt.
If your debt is more than one, you can outline your list of debts according to their interest rate. Know how much you are owing in total and prioritise which debt you are paying first.
5. Get rid of your debt
Having got an emergency fund and using a budget to guide your expenses, at this point, paying off your debt should be your priority.
However, while you are doing this, make sure you do not compound the debt by getting more debt.
If you really want to be fast about getting rid of your debt, you can also find a side hustle to increase your income....and before you know it, you're debt-free already.
Having paid your debt, you can save more money to meet your financial goals.