In the last post we talked about obtaining your proper mindset for accumulating great wealth.
We talked about changing your money mindset from one of negative thoughts and scarcity to one of abundance and positive, life altering thoughts.
These mindset changes involved the following steps:
• Stop working for your money and let money work for you.
• Banish all scarcity beliefs for good.
• Dispel all your ingrained money fears.
• Cultivate a positive money mindset.
• Have a written, well-defined goal.
Our next step will focus on getting you out of debt as quickly as possible and then, staying out of debt forever.
There’s been a ton written about the best ways to get rid of your debt for good. But, it all really boils down to a few very basic steps.
Once these are mastered you’ll be in for clear sailing and won’t have to worry about debt build up again.
It’s important to note that you probably didn’t get into debt all at once and you also won’t get out of debt all at once.
Getting out of debt will take time, focus and work, but in the end it will be well worth it.
Here are the basic steps that will get you started:
1. Know your finances—make a budget.
It’s always surprising to me to know how many people have no idea where their money goes.
They just know that every month they run out of it.
You need to know exactly how much money you’ve got coming in every month. That’s your starting point.
Your next step would be to list where your money goes every month. List everything you spend money on-don’t leave anything out.
Everything must be written down.
Now compare the two numbers. If your income is greater than your expenses, that’s great! You’ve already got something to work with.
If your expenses are greater than your income, that’s not so great because you’re going backwards.
But, don’t despair. Your situation is fixable. It will just take some work.
Before we go further, you must understand something that’s critically important. You can’t possibly get out of debt by making only minimum monthly payments on your outstanding obligations.
Do you know that if you only pay the monthly minimums on your credit cards, it can take up to 20 years to pay them off—and that’s assuming you don’t add any new charges?
You must absolutely find the money to make payments above the minimums on your debts.
That’s where your budget comes in. This part will require some soul searching.
Examine every item of expense you listed on your budget.
You must begin slashing your expenses. See what items are not necessary for your daily living and get rid of them now.
Are you getting a daily latte at Starbucks instead of drinking the free coffee at work? Do you really need 100 channels of cable TV? How about your expensive cell phone plan? Can you switch to something cheaper?
You’re going to be faced with some tough choices. Do you really need that expensive pick-up truck? Can you sell it and use the money you save every month to extinguish another high interest rate debt?
The choices you make here will be determined by how badly you want to be rid of your debts.
To help you make your choices, I will tell you there’s no better feeling in the world than the one you experience when you pay off your last debt and are finally debt free.
Once you cut your budget down, you’ll be shocked by how much you were spending every month on these “necessary items” which really weren’t necessary at all.
2. Set up your emergency fund.
You don’t want to go back into debt when you’re hit with an unexpected car repair or a surprise dentist bill.
Your next step is, therefore, to put some of your new found savings into an emergency fund.
Try to put away $1,000-$1,500 as a ”just in case” fund. Then leave it alone unless you need it for a real emergency.
3.Kill the debt.
At this point you’ve got your budget and your emergency fund taken care of. Now it’s time to start whacking away at your debts.
Your budget should show monthly income over and above your “new revised” monthly expenses. If it doesn’t, sharpen your pencil and keep slashing those expenses. This is that important.
You’re going to use your extra cash, all of it, to make extra payments on your debts.
You can do this in one of two ways. List all your debts by amount owed and by interest rate.
You can begin by paying extra on your smallest balance debt first. Once that’s paid off, take your extra cash and the minimum monthly payment you were paying on your smallest debt and pay that money as an extra payment on your next smallest debt.
You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment and success every time you get rid of another debt!
The other method to do this would be to begin by paying extra on the debt with the highest interest rate. Once that was paid off, use the extra monthly money and the minimum payment that you were paying on the old debt and pay those on the next highest rate debt.
The second method will save you more money than the first method because you’ll be lowering your overall interest charges.
Either method will work to get you out of debt, but you must be patient because this will take time. You didn’t get into debt in one day and you won’t get out of debt in one day, either.
Remember as you go through these steps, this method works every time without fail. You just have to stick with it and work the plan.
Keep a constant eye on your expenses and practice “frugal living”. Measure every cent you spend and always be looking for creative ways to cut expenses and add more funds to your debt payments.
The more money you can pay extra every month, the quicker you can say good-bye to your debt worries.
Getting into debt is very easy and getting out of debt can be really tough. It will take intense effort and constant vigilance.
But, keep in mind, many people follow these steps successfully and you can, too.
The best part is when you’re free of debt; you’ll know it was all worthwhile.
While the information I’ve provided here is invaluable, it’s only an outline of the process.
To get more in depth step by step information on how to rid yourself of money worries, click the link below for more information