We have been there, staring at our credit card bill and being overwhelmed by the sums of debt we have accumulated, the interest that comes along with it, and the credit terms pressuring you to pay by a specific date as if you have not enough deadlines in your life.
The worst part about debt is that it keeps us from reaching our goals, the more of it that we have, the farther away we are from our dreams and our financial freedom. D2ealing with debt is exhausting and stressful, but it does not have to take forever to pay off.
- What is debt
- How debt keeps you from reaching your goals
- Stigma of debt
- Debt as a prison
- Mind the gap (fix budget)
○ Increasing Revenues
○ Decreasing Expenses
- Avoid Credit Card spending
○ Deleting Cards from Online Stores
- Reward yourself (with cash you have!)
- Avalanche Method
- Snowball Method
- What method do we recommend?
- Recap on the tips
The first thing we have to do to pay off our debt is to mind the gap. This is the gap between your monthly income to your monthly spending. Having a tighter gap leaves you less room for financial flexibility, that is why there must always be a significant gap between your income and expenses. There are two ways to increase the gap, either you increase your income or you decrease your expenses. Managing to do both would be the best thing you can do.
By making the gap bigger, you can make enough room to pay for your debt in a shorter period. Try to think of anything that can help increase your gap, brew your coffee at home, prepare your own meals, eat out less, or maybe sell those old guitars you do not use anymore, anything would make a big impact.
Next, we have to avoid credit card spending at all costs. It would not help acquiring more debt if you cannot pay off your current ones. Delete your credit card information from your favorite online stores, remove it from your internet browser, delete Shopee and Lazada from your phone, or even go as far as cutting your credit card.
It may seem like a punishment to you, but being free from debt is better than being stuck in a loop of acquiring debt and draining yourself to pay them off. Once we have established your gap and preventing further debts, we can now move on to strategies that we can use to be finally free of debt.
The Avalanche approach is the quickest and cheapest way of paying off your debt. You simply have to list down your debts from the greatest amount to the least, and pay the biggest debt first. This makes it so that you minimize the interest you have to pay by eliminating the biggest amount as quickly as possible, and after paying off the greatest amount, you can use the additional cash flow from paying off that debt to easily pay off the following amount, and so on. As simple as it may sound, the Avalanche approach is easier said than done.
This method makes it hard to start since you are dealing with the greatest amount first. Moreover, it is usually demotivating for you since you do not see results immediately. As humans, we love to see results quickly and not being able to get the results we want can be overwhelming. That is why in the next approach, we will be using human psychology to our advantage!
The Snowball approach is perhaps the more effective method of paying off your debt. It is the opposite of the Avalanche approach, wherein we pay off the smallest amount first. This makes sure that we feel motivated everytime we scratch debt off our credit card bill. Even though this is not the cheapest method of paying off that debt, allowing the bank to squeeze a little extra interest from us, this method is more likely to keep you in track to your debt free life which, after all, is our goal.
In sum, we recommend that you start off small and pay the smallest debt using the snowball approach. Always remember to mind your gap, the greater the gap, the faster you’ll be able to be debt free. Avoid acquiring additional debt from the ones that you already have and finally, make sure that you are always on track. Do not forget to reward yourself every now and then, you deserve it. Paying off debt is not an easy thing to do.
Investagrams has helped thousands of Filipinos all over the world on their stock market journey. Now, we’re aiming to help thousands more! Follow us on InvestaDaily for investing tips and stock market advice to help you reach your first million.