Buried deep beneath a pile of bills, you can feel trapped by your debt. No matter how hard you struggle, it can feel like you aren’t making a difference — that you’re destined to be in debt for your entire life. While it’s true debt can be overwhelming, it isn’t a life sentence. It won’t be easy, but you can get out of debt with an organized plan of attack and a lot of hard work. Not sure where to start? Begin by checking in with these simple yet effective ways to tackle your debt.
Speak with the professionals
When your tooth hurts and you suspect you have a cavity, do you ask your friend to help fill it? No, of course not. Your teeth are important, and you would only let a trained professional get anywhere near your mouth. Then why would you let someone with no financial background offer up their advice when you need help with money? Your finances are just as important.
To be fair, it’s easier now than ever to find these non-professionals. Anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account can share their opinions, and the unsuspecting browser might take their advice for the truth. While you may be able to glean some money-saving tricks from these Internet users, these tips will never match the expert advice of a professional.
Find a well-reviewed financial advisor in your area and make an appointment to speak with them. As a credible source of information, you can trust the recommendations they offer on a variety of issues.
Don’t be afraid to supplement their help by researching personal finance tips on your own. Just be wary of the source. While an anonymous Twitter user with 100 followers is unlikely to offer reliable info, an established financial company like GoDay regularly provides useful tips to save money for its customers. With a 9 out of 10 rating on Trust Pilot, you can expect credible assistance. Stick with sources you can check, and you’ll find proven ways to handle your debt.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Whether through a regular meeting with an advisor or just an unofficial appointment with your laptop, you’ll probably learn about the importance of budgeting. A budget is an essential financial tool that can expose unnecessary spending habits that can threaten your finances.
When you first get started, you may feel compelled to strike anything but your most necessary bills from your budget. It can feel cathartic to remove these frivolous spending habits from your life, especially when you know how much money you’ll save by doing it. In reality, this austere approach to your finances can be dangerous. When you focus solely on paying off debt, you’ll deny yourself all the pleasures in life. Sure, the opposite is what got you into this mess but going too hard the other way can lead to more spending than you realize.
Compare it to starting a diet that eliminates everything but healthy protein and vegetables. At first, you might be able to stick to your new meal plan, but sooner or later, you’ll cave and end up eating more Oreos than you thought possible. A balanced diet is healthier than an extreme fat-cleansing plan because you won’t feel tempted by the forbidden fruit (or forbidden cookie, as it were).
Similarly, with your finances, a balanced budget is more successful than any extreme budget because you won’t feel constrained by your financial plan. You can use small, irregular treats as motivation to keep on track. When you allow yourself these tiny pleasures, you won’t feel as depressed about your situation.
These tips may be simple, but even the biggest things have to start somewhere. Start small by bringing balance to your budget and searching out professional advice. These are actionable steps you can take without feeling overwhelmed. Best of all, they can put you on a path towards a debt-free future.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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