For a debt free plan to work, you have to make sure that it is realistic and achievable. Setting the bar too high can set you up for failure and discourage you from trying again.
Debt is a burden and it will weigh you down unless you make a firm resolve to be debt free. Once you make that commitment, you have to put it in writing as your debt free plan.
It will be your guide in managing your finances; your course of action to keep you focused on wiping your slate clean and becoming debt free for life.
When you're fed up with being trapped in an endless cycle of working just to be able to pay the interest on your debts, it's time to get your life back by writing a debt free plan.
Step 1. Write Everything Down
Start by writing down everything that you owe. Arrange them from biggest to smallest, and make sure that every one is duly accounted for. To keep you really motivated, think of it as your debt hit list, with every item marked for elimination.
Step 2. Prioritize
A smart debt payment plan prioritizes debts according to their degree of urgency or importance. This is so because the big ones are charged bigger interests when payments are missed or delayed. So put up your biggest obligations on top of the list because the earlier they're paid the faster you'll be debt free.
Step 3. Establish Your Debt Elimination Budget
Prepare a monthly budget which you should follow while you're working to get rid of your debts. It should account for all the expenses -- mortgage payments, utility bills, food, transportation, petty cash, etc.-which are to be deducted from your monthly income. Once you have the budget, stick to it or you could end up increasing instead of reducing what you owe.
Step 4. Pay your Debts ABOVE the Minimum Monthly Due
The trick in an effective debt free plan is to pay more than the minimum monthly due. Otherwise, you won't be able to make a dent on the principal. How much extra you could put into your monthly payments would depend on how willing you are to make cuts on your spending.
Step 5. Save, Save, Save
Until you're finally debt free, make every effort to save and put the savings into increasing your monthly debt payments. Be creative in trimming your budget. For one, you could lessen or altogether stop eating out or making unnecessary purchases. There are many small things that you can do to save that add up and hasten your dream of becoming debt free for life.
Step 6. Augment Your Income
If you really want to pay off your debts quickly, generate extra income to cover any shortfall or increase your debt elimination budget. Look out for part-time employment which should also help you become more active and stimulated. And while you're looking, set your extra income goal which should guide you on which type of extra job to look for.
Step 7. Set a Target Date for Being Debt Free
The final touch in an effective debt elimination plan is to have a target when you can finally say you are debt free! Don't just say soon but identify the day, month, and year. Print it in big bold numbers and stick on your memo board for inspiration.
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The most important thing you can do to take control of your debts and get your future back on track is to do something. Take action.
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