The old debt-monster. It’s easy to think “If I ignore it, it’ll go away,” but debt is more likely to come back to haunt your financial household later. No hero ever slayed his dragons by hiding from them. Here are some professional tips on how to stay focused and get back into the black:
Face the Music: The first part of eliminating debt is being honest and staring it in the face. Get real about what you owe, and how much debt is really costing you in interest, fees and other added costs.
Tackle credit card bills head-on, instead of ignoring them until they collectively become a debt-monster hiding in the closet. Be fearless: Fear of debt will only lead to more debt and bigger problems.
Prepare a Budget: Understanding your monthly income against expenses is vital to creating a realistic monthly spending plan and allocating enough monthly funds toward debt repayment. Checking in regularly with your spending plan also builds long-term financial awareness and keeps you on track with goals.
Sweat the Small Stuff: Whether it’s the daily cup of coffee or regular takeout, it’s easy to drop $10 a day on random things. But that $10 a day actually turns into $3600 a year that could be used to reduce debt! Think about what changes you can make to cut costs, spend less and save more.
If you have to, start slow. A $3 cup of coffee a day might be hard to give up entirely. Try scaling back to a coffee a week and then back to a coffee a month, and look for low-cost ways to supplement. Making coffee at home could save you time in line as well as money!
Contact Creditors: Many credit card companies are willing to work on payment plans that work better for you, and may even lower interest rates. Be proactive. Make the phone calls, know your rights, and put in the effort to negotiate.
Grow Income: Look at ways to boost income through selling assets or taking on additional work. Sometimes there’s only so much cutting you can do before it’s time to make changes in the major life expenses like housing, car, education, etc.
Know your Issues: Whether you’re an impulse shopper, like to shower loved ones with gifts you can’t afford, or reward yourself for hard work with new electronics or golf outings, everyone has patterns of spending behavior that can lead to trouble. Recognize these patterns and work towards changes in mindset and behavior to prevent future financial issues.
Help is Here: If you are experiencing difficulty now, or anticipate problems meeting your expenses in the near future, it may help to request a financial and/or legal consultation through your Employee Assistance Program, ACI Specialty Benefits. ACI is just a call or click away. Call 800.932.0034 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.