It has been just over 6 months since I started blogging and I am really enjoying it.
Sometimes, I wake up and I have a post there in the my head already formed. Sometimes, a topic presents itself during the course of the day and other times I can spend ages writing to you only to delete it after 1 read through.
Knowing I have an audience to trying to paying off my debt and living a frugal life focuses me.
So I wanted today to write to the person who stumbles across my blog in a blind panic terrified by their personal debt and lying awake at night.
Firstly calm down. Nothing is insurmountable and you will get through this.
- Face Your Problem. Write a list of all you debts. Credit Cards, Loans, Overdraft, Family loans etc. Get an honest total.
- Get Help. If you think they are insurmountable and you are getting into arrears. Speak to the free experts and not some Numpty who wants you to consolidate and therefore extend your debt for another 20 years. If you are UK based this page will help
- APR APR APR. Which debt is costing you the most in interest? Not the biggest debt but the highest APR. That is your priority debt. Keep all other debts to a minimum monthly repayment and throw everything at the highest APR. Once it is paid off then start on the next highest APR and so on.
- Budget. Work out everything that you need to pay for and then budget for it. Mortgage, utilities, car, food, insurance etc. Work out what you have left. And then throw everything you can at your debt whilst also saving a little each month to cover prospective emergencies.
- Sell. If it not nailed down and you do not need it then sell it. Spare shoes, handbags, electronics. Then use the money to pay off your debt.
- Stop Buying. This probably seems really obvious. But if it is not food, medicine, petrol, or essential toiletries then DO NOT BUY IT.
- Reclassify. This was one of the hardest things I had to do. Cut back everywhere. If you food shop somewhere nice then reduce your overheads by visiting a cheaper supermarket. Think Aldi and Lidl. If you got to the hairdresser once a month then dye yourself. Use Estee Lauder? Try Simple. etc etc You will be surprised how much judicious use of your shopping power will reduce your overheads.
- No Treats. You do not deserve them. You are in debt. You need to pay it back. Stop treating yourself in an effort to cheer yourself up. Paying back your debts will make you happiest. So no meals out, or fancy hair styles or designer clothes until life is better.
- Less Spending, Not More Money. I know a lot of people who seem to think they need a new job with more money to clear their debts. This is probably not true. You will only spend more. So stop spending the money you have.
- Betting is Stupid. Do not attempt to clear debt by trying to win the money. The only winner in games of chance is the house.
- Breathe. Things will better. Facing a problem, if half way to clearing it.
You are not alone my friend.