Last week I looked at a few things you can start doing to pay off those credit cards, but that isn’t the only debt you may have. You may have personal loans, student loans, a car loan, a mortgage, or a mix of all of these. Working off your debt is incredibly important, especially if it takes a large part of your monthly income. Here are a few things you can do start really getting your debt under control.
– Plan ahead for which debt you will pay off first and in what order. If you are still in the early days of your mortgage or car payment it is best to pay them down before even your credit cards because what you put on them now will significantly reduce the amount that you will pay in interest over the life of the loan. This is because the largest percentage of your first few payments always goes to interest. The more you pay now, the more of your money that goes to your premium payment instead of interest. If your loans are a bit older, it is best to pay off your credit cards first. They usually have a higher interest rate and the payments are not tax deductible.
– Stick to your budget. It is going to feel like it is taking a long time, but that’s because it is going to take as long to pay it off as it took to accrue the debt (or in many cases, much longer). As long as you stick to it, the debt will go down, you just have to be patient.
– Don’t add to the debt. This goes along with sticking to your budget, but you need to be aware of when you are spending money you don’t have instead of sticking to your budget. If it is an emergency that is one thing, but you have to get out of the habit of putting money on credit when you are trying to pay it off.
Track your spending. This is a great way to make sure you are paying things off and will help you see the progress you are making on reducing your debt.