ARE YOU IN DEBT? THESE STEPS CAN HELP YOU MANAGE IT BETTER
Being financially indebted is usually never a great feeling. The thought of knowing that you are financially indebted to another party and under due obligation to pay back is not a very glamorous experience. Sometimes, the weight of debt can be very crushing and it is not very easy to get out from under this huge boulder of financial indebtedness that sits on us and rise above it. We incur debt for many reasons. On a personal level, it could be to cover emergency expenses, health bills, education, or for other reasons best known to the individual. Corporations incur debt too sometimes to offset their expenses or finance large acquisitions or buyouts.
It is important to understand that situations beyond our control can sometimes steer us in the direction of debt. Debt is not always bad after-all. It is merely a means to an end or in more clear terms, “a necessary evil”. Debt is good when money is borrowed for the purpose of making more money. Bad debt is however money borrowed to spend on non-income-generating assets, otherwise called liabilities. In many cases, debt accrues interests and accumulates over time, the weight of which can be crushing. The principles of effective debt management and handling are necessary to be applied to ensure that you are not swallowed whole by this debt. Debt is a money monster after-all and can prove extremely damaging to your financial worthiness if left unchecked.
Debt is a vicious cycle. The more money you owe, the harder it is for you to completely payback. Even worse, you might result to incurring fresh debts to offset the previous ones. It is necessary to put a peg on how much you let yourself borrow. As a rule, do not borrow more than is within your financial capabilities to pay back, in installments or bulk. Tailor your incurred debt to your expected feasible income.
Make a detailed list of your debts and exactly how much you owe each individual. This is the first step to take in managing your finances and digging your way out of debt. It is best to make an ordered list of these debts according to their priority. The urgent ones which must be immediately settled should sit atop the list. It is also necessary to include the due dates of your debts alongside them. Keep an up-to-date list of all your debts, and have a grand sum total of how much you owe.
The next step is to prepare a budget detailing all your monthly expenses, while also dedicating a certain percentage of your monthly income to debt settlement. An effective budget helps you determine exactly how much money is coming in and going out of your account. This is useful in helping you determine how much of your income you can periodically let go to repay what you owe.
Ensure that your debt does not grow during the period in which you are trying to pay off your debts. Completely avoid borrowing during this period to keep your debts from accumulating. It is also not ideal to borrow more money to pay off already existing debts. This solves no problem as you would have only succeeded in creating renewed financial obligations to other parties. Curb irrational spending traits and try as much as you can to live within your means.
Lastly, congratulate yourself on each milestone you achieve in the repayment of your debts. This triggers a reward system that keeps you motivated and helps you stay committed to repaying your debts over time and remaining debt-free!