Credit cards, overdrafts, interest rates… It’s enough to make anyone want to bury their head in the sand. But tackling debt can not only make you feel in control of your personal finance, it can also help reduce money related stress and potentially improve your credit score.
As someone who loves helping people reach their goals, I enjoy helping people overcome challenges to feel more in control and confident. Just like any challenge, the hardest step is often the first one, so I have put together some simple steps you could take today to face your debt.
- Face it head on!
It seems really scary now but knowledge helps with control. Open a spreadsheet and start listing where you owe money and who to. Then you can add on information like how much you’re currently paying and what the interest rates are. Once you see what you owe in one place, it will likely seem a little easier to handle.
- Know what will keep you motivated
Are you someone who needs a quick win to feel motivated, or do you prefer a long term benefit? By listing your debts, you may find you have one smaller debt that you could pay off quicker, or one with a large interest rate that, by tackling first, could reduce what you owe in the long run. Whichever approach works for you, prioritise your debts to create your repayment plan.
- Optimise your outgoings
Do you have a gym membership that you no longer use that you still pay for? Cancel it and use it to tackle your debt. Look for cheaper phones, internet and household bills also, anything that could help optimise your money and help you tackle debt sooner.
- Start getting savvy
You can reduce what you owe by looking for better interest rates or offers. Getting savvy with your debt will not only make you feel more in control, it will help you see more options with tackling it and ultimately, seem a lot less scary!
- Don’t forget to have fun.
Cutting back on things doesn’t mean going without. So make sure you still have time and funds to do the things you like. You control your debt, it doesn’t control you!
Start with all of these or pick one you like the look of. Getting starting is the most important step towards tackling your debt!
Please note that nothing in this article constitutes advice. If you are struggling with debt you should contact a not-for-profit debt advice body or the Money Advice Service.
Michaela is the Head of Communications at StepLadder and is passionate about helping people be at their best!