Unfortunately, many people are in debt and with the loss of so many jobs, it increases the number of individuals struggling with managing their debt. The plan to get out of debt requires effort on the debtor’s part, but it is possible to live a debt-free lifestyle. It will take a combination of discipline, debt counseling, and rethinking how to spend and manage money. Some individuals may have to file bankruptcy as part of the plan for getting out of debt; however, this should be a last resort.
It took time to get into debt and it will take time to get out of debt. Although a budget is part of the plan for getting out of debt, getting educated and adhering a long range plan are just as important.
Make a Budget
A budget is the first step towards financial freedom, and it is a way to track spending. First, list all income sources, and then, list fixed expenses such as loan payments and rent. Finally, list any expenses that change from month to month such as grocery and utility bills.
It will be easier to track and set up a budget using a spreadsheet program. These programs are typically included as part of the preloaded software package when purchasing a computer, and they allow users to perform simple to complex calculations.
A budget begins with setting up the appropriate categories, so the plan for getting out of debt meets the specific needs of the debtor. Think of the budget as a tool for understanding spending habits and helping to establish better management of debt. It is difficult to know where to make changes if there is no budget in place.
Professional Debt Counseling
A debt counseling service helps individuals with managing their debt by working with creditors and debtors. These counseling services are free, and some have a sliding fee schedule based on specific calculations. A major function of these services work with individuals and creditors by setting up monthly payment plans to pay down debt. In most cases, the counseling services have preexisting relationships with creditors to reduce or eliminate interest.
Furthermore, contact from creditors cease, and as long as the debtor pays according to the agreement, interest will not accrue during that period. Stay away from any service that offers a loan to erase the debt because it may be a front for an unscrupulous loan company with questionable practices.
Debt Counseling Education
Getting and staying out of debt means adopting a new way of thinking about spending and managing money. Find free or low cost seminars on the subject of creating a budget and practical ways of living within it. Local libraries, community centers, and nonprofit organizations are some places where to find get out of debt seminars. Credit unions and community organizations may also offer free seminars on managing debt.
Although a plan to get out of debt takes time, it is possible with persistence and hard work. With a well-planned budget and proper counseling, debt is manageable.
Tom Demers writes for Express Roofing which is a 27 year old exclusively residential roofing company located in New England and is a Chelmsford roofing contractor.