Debt, a word that means that something, usually money, is owed or due. It’s a word that no one likes using. It’s understandable where the stigma around that word comes from; debt can leave you stuck, hopeless, and unmotivated. Once you get a game plan together, you will be able to tackle debt and put it all behind you.
If you are dealing with a mountain of debt, you probably don’t know where to begin climbing. First, you need to examine what you owe. Make a list of every debt with the amount, interest rate, and minimum payment. The list is a great first step to getting organized and it just might motivate you to tackle your debt once and for all.
Second, make a calendar of when each bill is due. See if you can turn on notifications for each account to get reminders of when a bill is due. Examine your bills instead of just blindly paying them to ensure there are no errors. Look at them to see if there is anything you can cut. Do you need that big of a cable package or that many streaming services? Even if those bills are small, they’ll still make an impact when paying off your debt.
Once you have assessed and organized all your bills and payments, it’s time to make a plan. There are many ways to tackle debt and one is called the “Snowball Method” where you start with the smallest debt, pay it off, take the payment you were putting towards that debt and start putting it towards the next one, and just keep doing that method of building, snowballing, the payments on top of each other until all the debt has been paid.
Another method is to start with the largest debt amount first. By doing this you’ll save more in interest and will probably pay less money in the long run. Whichever way you choose, once you get the first debt out of the way you’ll feel more confident and motivated to keep pushing forward.
Paying off debt is vital to have financial peace of mind, but it’s gonna cost. Finding a way to earn some extra income, it can help when it comes to paying down debt. If you are able, find a better paying job or take on an easy part-time job. If that is not an option for you, look into selling things you no longer need or if you have a hobby/talent try turning that into a side job to earn some extra money as well.
No matter which route or options you take, it will be in your best interest to ask someone to hold you accountable. It may be embarrassing and hard to confide in someone about your debt troubles, but we are all human and they may have even gone through something similar. Check-in with them weekly and ask about your spending habits and see if they have any suggestions and different points of view. They can also check in with you to make sure you are staying on top of your payments. Some people suggest getting an accountability partner when going on a new diet or workout plan to help you stick with it and this is no different, except it involves money.
However big or small your debt is, the only way to pay it all off is just to start. Putting it off or shoving your bills in a drawer is only making the debt mountain grow. You will have a huge weight taken off your shoulders once you pay it off and a newfound sense of accomplishment that will make you feel like you can do anything.
Eastex is here to help. Set bill pay options, set-up card alerts and more. Stop by your local branch to learn more.