Is it safe to say that almost everyone on the planet has debts? I think it is. Malaysians are no exceptions when it comes to trying to get out of this financial web. Debts can be as scary as any horror film, but fortunately just like any horror movie, the ending can be a happy one.
Lets take a look at some of the measures that you may consider to pay off those hefty debts.
- Set a Target.
Before you even decide to pay off your debts, set a target first. Assess the results of your balance against your debts and then crafts a plan. Once you have done so, it’s easier to monitor your progress regularly to help you stay on track and motivated to reach your goals.
- Create a budget (and stick to it!)
Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Mukesh Ambani have one thing in common. They are RICH. But guess what? They all have budgets which they strictly follow. If they can do it, why cant you? It’s a step that perhaps place your name next to theirs.
The idea of budgeting is just a simple way of you telling your money where you want it to go. Looking thoroughly into your previous expenses from your bank or credit statements should give you an idea on where your money flows to.
- Pay off the biggest debt first
This usually applies for credit cards. Identify your credit card interest rates from highest to lowest, then tackle the card with the highest rate first.
Here’s the catch. When you pay off the balance with the highest rate first, you increase your payment on the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate while continuing to make the minimum payment on the rest of your credit cards. This may be an added assistance to ease your burden.
- Leave your credit card at home.
Leaving the house? Cell phone- Check! car keys – Check! wallet – Check! Credit card – Naah. Yes, at times its best not to bring your credit card everywhere you go.
As hard as it may sound, try removing all credit cards from your wallet, and leave them at home when you go shopping. Guess there is no need to elaborate further.
- Strike them out
Look back at your expenses from last month. Is there anything you really don’t need? Did you go out to eat too much? Do you need to rein in entertainment spending? Pay special attention to monthly regular monthly subscription services that can add up big over time. Then, apply these savings to your debt.
- Garage Sale
Now now, don’t roll your eyes so soon. Think about it, perhaps you could make some extra bucks to help pay off your debts. Is there anything taking up space that you really don’t need? Maybe there are some larger items taking up space such as unnecessary furniture that could be sold to pay off your debts and decrease your financial burden. You could host a garage sale, sell items on eBay, or sell items on online yard sale Facebook groups and other sites.
- Goodbye, Old Self
Do you really need your daily latte? Can you bring your lunch to work instead of buying it four times a week? Ask yourself: What can I change without sacrificing my lifestyle too much? More often than not, it’s your daily habits and routines are the reason you got into this mess, spend more time thinking about how you spend money every day. From food, to gadgets and clothes.
- Increase your income
You might find that searching for a better paying job is the way to go to increase your income for the same amount of hours put in. However, if you really like your current job or you’ve found you’ve maxed out your earning capacity in your field, why not get a second job? It doesn’t have to be for a long term but just for a short period of time until you’re able to pay off your debts in full.
- Consolidate your loans
Savings isn’t usually what someone in debt thinks of first, but if you don’t have savings, you’ll likely need to use your credit cards again part way through your loan and end up racking up more debt. So the key to benefiting from a consolidation loan and making it an effective tool is to use a spending plan (a budget) to ensure you keep your spending under control and set aside some money each month for emergencies or unplanned expenses which will inevitably occur.
- Take advantage of balance transfers.
A balance transfer allows you to transfer the outstanding balance from one credit card to another. You’ll have to decide on a tenure with the bank to repay your credit debt in monthly installments. Balance transfer credit cards are the best option if you’re struggling to pay off your bills every month. You can consolidate debt from several credit cards onto one card.
This article was contributed by Vino K from CompareHero.my, a site dedicated to increasing financial literacy and helping you save time and money by comparing credit cards, personal loans, and broadband plans in Malaysia.