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Ever feel like you’re just working to pay off debt?
No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get ahead?
Well, you’re not alone. And it’s not all in your head either. It’s possible that there are some actions that you don’t realize are keeping you in debt.
Actions that are holding you back from your dream despite your best efforts. Don’t worry, nothing is wrong with you. We all have them.
Sneaky little habits that cause us trouble.
My goal isn’t to debt shame you. I NEVER do that.
My hope is as you read this list, that if you find that you’ve been doing some of these that you can stop, and make the changes necessary to get out of debt once and for all.
Only Paying the Minimum
I know how you feel.
You’re broke. You barely have the money to cover the daycare, activities, and mortgage as it is, so why not just pay the minimum? No harm no foul right? At least you paying something.
Just paying the minimum on a 25% interest rate credit card with a $5700 balance would take you over 18 years to pay it off. Not to mention the $20,000 in interest you would have to pay (plus the original $5700 you borrowed).
Kinda makes that slice of pizza for lunch you bought with your card not worth it right?
Even if you’re just making an extra $5 a month will shave off $8000 of interest, and cut the payment payoff date by over 6 years. Think about that the next time you think a $5 additional payment won’t make a dent.
Not Knowing How Much You Owe
You can’t pay down what you don’t know you owe.
And you won’t know that you need to make changes in your lifestyle if you don’t even know there is a problem.
Getting really clear about who you owe, how much, for how long, and with what terms is essential to getting out of debt. Not knowing any or all of these details is a recipe for staying in debt (and potentially ruining your credit).
Paying Extra For Convenience
Everyone knows you’ll always pay more for convenience.
Valet parking, ATM fees, pizza delivery, car leases, etc. are all instances where folks pay a little more for the privilege of convenience.
Treating yourself every once in a while is fine, but when you’re in debt, all those convenience charges could have made a dent if it was applied to the dent.
Not taking advantage of adding extra dollars to your debt is much more likely to keep you in debt.
Not Having An Emergency Fund
I get it.
Nobody likes to have money sitting around. Especially when you’re broke trying to pay down debt.
But emergency funds help catch you when life happens.
Busted tires, flooded basement, emergency room copay – all these charges would have to be covered by … you guessed it … a credit card (or some other debt) if you don’t have an emergency fund.
All that hard work of paying down your debt gets demolished when you have to dip back into it to cover an unexpected expense.
You need a proper emergency fund. One that is separated from all your other accounts and is only used for true emergencies.
Still Adding To Your Debt
Realizing you’re in debt is the first step.
But stopping the hemorrhaging is next (albeit most important) one.
If you’re making purchases, making smaller payments, or are in a situation where you’re spending more than you make, then you’ll continue to be in ever-growing debt.
There is no possible way for you to get rid of your debt if you keep digging yourself further and further into it.
You need to make some changes.
Maybe it’s cutting some luxuries. Maybe it’s focusing on getting on time with your current debts and bills. Maybe it means starting a budget. Bottom line is, the actions that got you in debt, won’t get you out of it.
Upgrading Your Lifestyle
You’ve been kicking ass at work.
Practicing your negotiating skills and now you’ve landed the raise and are finally getting paid what you’re worth.
Great! Good for you!
All that extra money can make a huge difference in your life. But take a look at your debt first before you start upgrading your wardrobe and getting the car you’ve always wanted.
If you find that you have fallen for some of these then don’t fret! We all have done them at some point in our lives.
But now that you know, you can do something about it.
Don’t get sad about it, get angry! And start making some changes.
To your success.