You are almost there, intrepid traveler. Do not give up now!
You’ve found yourself lost in the Jungles of Debt and are trying to work your way back to the Financial Wellness Road. Before attempting the journey back, we highly recommend backtracking and reading these two posts to be best prepared:
Escape the Jungles of Debt Part I – Build a Map
Escape the Jungles of Debt Part II – Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Now with map in hand, let’s take the next steps!
Step 7: Make Payments
When it comes time to make your payments, pay more than the minimum payment. The more you can pay each month, the faster your debts will disappear. If making these payments is difficult, there are two methods that can help alleviate some of the
- Debt Snowball
Pay off as much as possible on your smallest debt, then make the minimum payment on all the others. When the smallest debt is completed, move on to the next smallest.
- Debt Avalanche
The opposite of a snowball. Pay off as much as possible on your largest debt, then make the minimum payment on all the others. When it is completed, move on to the next largest.
Step 8: Manage Your Income
You are officially on the road to getting out of debt, but you want to get there faster. This is a case of it being all about the destination, not the journey. So how do we speed up the process? These two solutions may seem obvious, but they can be easier
said than done:
- Maximize Your Income
Are you taking home as much as you can from your paycheck? Check to make sure you are claiming the right deductions and maximizing other pre-tax deductions. If you find some extra income, make sure you are putting this newfound cash towards your debt.
- Cut Expenses
Cutting extraneous costs can be easier and less time consuming that making more money and even lead to a healthier lifestyle. Cut the simple expenses first: dining out, entertainment, or expensive groceries.
Congratulations, you’re officially Escaping the Jungles of Debt! Whether this is a short trip back or a long journey, these 8 steps will help you find your way back to the Financial Wellness Road. Good luck!