In my entire life, I’ve been in and out of debt several times. It wasn’t until I started to read books and learned what other people did to escape such a situation.
Although it can seem difficult at first, once you get started you will never regret your hard work.
1. Be aware that your current financial situation is not permanent
Believing that positive change is possible is the first step to making it happen. It is not a death sentence to be broke.
Change your behavior and you can change the course of your life. You can make better choices and your life will improve.
You could be promoted and get a raise if you are able to work overtime every hour.
You can also improve your financial situation. Many people struggle to make ends meet throughout their lives. Think about where you’d be in five, ten, or twenty years.
Are you imagining yourself financially secure and building wealth? Do you think you will still live paycheck to paycheck? Do yourself a favor and make better financial decisions.
2. Be open with yourself
Although it can be difficult to accept the truth, you must know where you are starting to get to the destination you desire.
Credit Karma was my first account when I decided to be more responsible about finances. It is completely free and you can access your credit score and report as often as you wish.
It displays all of your credit accounts and shows which ones are in default.
This can be very helpful in determining your starting point to becoming financially independent.
Your head in the sand will get you nowhere. Add up all your debts. It’s actually more satisfying to know how much debt you owe. The unknown is always more frightening.
3. Adjust Variable expenses
Variable expenses are those that change from month to month. Variable expenses are not fixed, such as rent, car payments, or phone bills. Variable expenses are easy to control.
Do you wonder why you aren’t making enough money but still go out for food all the time? Are you a shopaholic or do you smoke or drink fancy coffees to entertain yourself? All that adds up to quite a large sum.
You don’t have to believe me. Take a look at your bank statements for the last week. Write down all non-necessary variable expenses you have spent your money on.
You’ll be able to see how much money you have spent on unnecessary expenses in the past week. You could save the same amount if you make changes to your spending habits.
You may have used debt to pay off or gotten behind on your overdue bills. Imagine how much better it will feel to be free from the debilitating feeling of being broke.
It is definitely worth giving up happy hours and fancy coffees. It’s always better to have long-term happiness and stability than instant gratification.
4. Learn from others
One of my best friends had recently divorced. She started listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio while she commuted and watched the Suze Orman Show organize her finances.
I was astonished when she shared all the information she had learned. She had a concrete plan to pay off her student loans and save money.
She felt in control of her finances. It was inspiring and I wanted it for my own life. I began watching Suze Ornan’s show when it was on the air and have continued watching it ever since.
Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover was the first one I read. I have read all of his books since then.
You don’t have to read books if you aren’t interested in reading them. Google and Pinterest offer tips for getting out of debt and being more frugal.
You can learn as much as you like about improving your financial situation to be able to make positive decisions that will help you move in the right direction.
5. Set your goals higher
You can’t aim at anything if you don’t try hard enough. After you have taken a hard look at your financial situation and identified your starting point, it is time to identify where you want to go.
Specific goals are essential if you want to make your goals achievable. You can’t simply set a general goal to lose weight if you are trying to slim down.
You must set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight by a specific date and then create a diet and exercise program.
The same goes for saving and debt loss. You can set measurable goals such as paying off your credit cards in six months or saving $50 per paycheck.
Dave Ramsey discusses the Debt Snowball technique in The Total Money Makeover. To have a financially sound financial future, you must pay off your debt. It is important to save money for emergency situations.
Dave suggests that you have $1000 saved for emergencies when starting out. This money can be earned by selling items you don’t need or making extra money.
These are some books that you might find helpful
- The Total Money Makeover
- The Total Money Makeover Workbook
- 9 Steps to Financial Freedom
- The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke
- The Automatic Millionaire
- Money and Women