Wealth Mgmnt

Six Factors to Reduce Debt

Whether you have business or personal debt, taking steps for debt reduction will give you less stress. Having less debt will enable you to relax more and have a better quality of life. Your spouse and kids will also enjoy the fact that you can spend more time with them. Most people can reduce debt with a few simple debt reduction strategies. They include:

Establish a Budget

Although debt can be caused by several factors, one of them is often because of not having a budget, or having an unrealistic one. A good debt reduction plan often starts with developing a budget. When used properly, a budget sets limits on spending and enables you to see where the money is going – or needs to go. It will also show you when you have extra money for spending and when you do not. Review all your current bills to make sure they are included in the budget. Limit your cash flow as well and make sure to account for all monthly expenses.

Reduce Your Monthly Bills

Whether you are a business or an individual, look for monthly expenses that you can eliminate. If you have memberships you are not using or will soon run out, cancel them. Then, use the money toward your debt. This may include gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, cable TV, movie rentals, and more.

Stop Spending

If you tend to buy things often, stop all extra spending. Determine not to buy anything not needed for at least a month. Do not buy clothes, electronics, video games, and more. You can also combine trips to the grocery store with other ones to save money on gas.

Eat at Home

It is always cheaper to eat home-cooked meals than it is to eat at a restaurant. This is especially true if you have a large family. If you are elderly, look into having meals delivered to your home at least a couple of times a week to save money. Planning menus in advance and only buying food for the menu will also help save money. It is also beneficial to avoid going food shopping when you are hungry. You can also take lunches with you to work and drink more water instead of expensive specialty coffees.

Pay Off Your Debt

If you have credit card debt, you are throwing money away in interest. If possible, increase the amount you pay toward your monthly bills to reduce your debt as fast as possible. This will reduce the interest and enable you to pay off the debt faster. Avoid making any new charges on the cards while reducing the debt. An exception would be to get a new balance transfer credit card with low interest. This could enable you to reduce your overall credit card debt interest-free for a year or more. It is only useful, though, if you can avoid using your other credit cards completely.

Start Saving Money

While you want debt elimination as soon as possible, remember that emergencies do happen. Not having extra money when you need it will likely force you into further debt. Slowly build an emergency fund of $1,000 to $1,500 and make sure that it is readily available. This amount will often be enough to handle smaller emergencies, but if you need to live elsewhere due to a disaster, having six months’ worth of income is even better.

Learning how to reduce debt and using those steps will benefit you greatly in the long run. Debt reduction can give you more money each month as well as access to larger loans and lower interest rates and may enable you to buy those things that you have always wanted.

Wealth Mgmnt