Happiness Skills That Can Help You Pay Off Debt
"Good times are when people make debts to pay in bad times. - Robert Quinlin"
Getting out of debt is possible if you have the right tools and motivation. But you should also be happy while paying off your debt. You might ask “How is that even possible? Can someone really become happier while being debt free?”
The answer is a simple “Yes”.
We all know that paying off your debt can require strong motivation and even sacrifice. Well, some of it is right, but it is also right that getting out of debt can be a joyful ride if approached with the correct attitude.
How? Let’s discuss the positive emotions you can experience while getting out of debt.
1. Keeping track of your spending to find the money route (Sign no. 1 – Curiosity)
To tackle your debt you first need to track your spending and find out where your money is going every month. Once you know the routes of your cash flow, it’ll be easier to manage it and start reducing your debt.
Your curiosity towards your money will push you to track your spending. Whenever the idea of tracking arise into your head, it indicates that you are serious about your money and your financial future. This is a great positive emotion.
2. Preparing a budget (Sign no. 2 – Surprise)
If you really want to pay off your debt, preparing a budget can greatly help you allocate your money efficiently. Consider what kind of debt you'd like to pay off and how fast would you like to pay it. You may follow a strict budget plan and cut off unnecessary expenses such as shopping, restaurants, tech gadgets etc. While you’re on a strict budget, you’ll be able to contribute more toward your debt payments reducing the overall amount you owe faster.
No one will be more surprised than you to see your budget plan in work. Following a budget requires dedication and discipline but you’ll be amazed to see how your mood can improves as you take control over your financing instead of having them control you.
“The man who never has enough money to pay his debts has too much of something else. - James Lendall Basford"
3. Focusing on cost reduction (Sign no. 3 – Courage)
If you’re in debt and falling short with your payments every month, it is the high time to evaluate your expenses. Check whether all of your expenses are needed and find the best way to reduce them to the bare minimum.
Starting from expensive habits like shopping branded goods, driving overpriced cars or drinking in a high-end bar, you have one simple solution for these, just quit. Do not let anything come between you and your long-term goals. If you want to pay off your debts, focus on cutting big unnecessary expenses first. After that, you can shift your focus to the smaller expenses.
Cutting expenses is a courageous thing, but with enough courage, you’ll be able to reduce your unneeded spending to help you pay off your debts faster.
4. Making more than the minimum payment (Sign no. 4 – Confidence)
If you’re having multiple unsecured loans such as payday loans, instalment loans, credit card debt or personal loans, you should always strive to make more than the minimum payment so you can pay down these loans quickly. Following this method can reduce the total interest of your debt, as well as speed up the payoff process.
As you become more confident and make bigger payments towards your loans, you’ll gradually start saving on interest and get out of debt faster. This in turn will make you even more confident as you take control over your financing.
“In God we trust; all others must pay cash. - American Proverb"
5. Concentrate on savings (Sign no. 5 – Love)
Your prime financial goal is being debt free, right? But, it's also important to build a habit of saving. Proper mindset towards saving can help you to build an emergency fund or even a fund for future investments. If you can save enough money from your paycheck, or can work part-time to earn some extra cash, you may use that money to help yourself become debt-free. Each time you save a decent amount, you can use that fund to pay off a big portion of your debts until they are eventually paid in full. Eventually, your debt will be paid off and you can start saving towards future plans and investments.
Once you start cutting your spending habits and reducing your expenses, you’ll automatically start saving more. Once you build a fund and use it to reduce debt, you’ll become obsessed about spending less and you’ll find more ways to save. It’s the ultimate “love” toward the saving habit that’ll make you push onwards with this healthy long-term habit.
6. Opting for balance transfer (Sign no. 6 – Pride)
If your credit card company won’t negotiate on the high-interest rates, you can reduce your interest cost by choosing the balance transfer method. With the help of an introductory offer, you can get 0% APR for up to 15 months. Some cards might charge you 3% of the balance as transfer fees, but few cards may not charge you (for example - The Chase Slate card has no transfer fee for first 60 days).
A balance transfer is a popular method to consolidate your debts. It may not only save you interest payments for a certain period but it also creates a new credit line with increased credit history. You must have a sense of pride to choose such an option, as choosing debt consolidation method requires discipline, financial planning, and responsibility.
“Running into debt isn’t so bad. It’s running into creditors that hurts. - Anonymous"
7. Select a repayment strategy to pay off debt (Sign no. 7 – Pleasure)
When you realize that you're accumulating debt, it's wise to choose the right debt repayment strategy as per your situation. Decide how much you can contribute toward your loan each month, and select the best repayment strategy. Here are a few options you may consider:
• The snowball method - This method will suggest you to pay off your debts by choosing the smallest debt first. You have to prepare a list on the basis of the minimum debt amount, from smallest to largest balance. Pay off the smallest debt first and then focus on the next one. You also need to make minimum payments on other debts of course.
• The avalanche method– With this method, you’ll need to list all of your debts with the highest interest rate. Once the highest interest debt is paid off, shift your focus on the next highest interest debt account. You should still make the minimum payment to your other debts every month.
• Debt Tsunami method – This method would apply an emotional aspect to your debts. You need to pay off debts by listing them in an order based on emotional impact.
You have the power to choose your debt repayment method. You can change your debt repayment method at any point of time, and don’t need any approval from any parties. This freedom can give you a feeling of pleasure and control as you pay off your debts.
8. Creating an emergency fund (Sign no. 7 – Satisfaction)
You should strive to have an emergency fund for an unexpected situation. But you must also keep in mind that building an emergency funds shouldn’t affect your debt payoff plan.
While paying off your debts, you must consider building up a small emergency fund for unexpected expenses like sudden medical bills, household or car repairs, etc. If you use some of the funds to tackle a sticky situation, make sure you replenish that money again within your emergency fund. But, don’t forget to make minimum payments on your other debt so that it remains under control.
When you have a decent amount in your hand to meet most emergency situations, it’ll give you a feel of satisfaction and control over your financials. You’ll be motivated to see that you have that quality to tackle tough situations that may arise. This in turn may give you great satisfaction.
These are the prime signs of positive emotions which can be associated with the process of getting out of debt. Make sure you peruse these as you gain control over your financial future!
“Live within your means, never be in debt, and by husbanding your money you can always lay it out well. - Andrew Jackson"
About the Author: Good Nelly is a financial writer who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has started her financial journey long back. Good Nelly has been associated with Debtconsolidationcare.com for a long time. Through her writings, she has helped people overcome their debt problems and has solved personal finance related queries.