Even before a person has graduated, he or she may have already incurred more than $20,000 worth of student loan debts. That’s not exactly a good way to start a new life. And with each passing year, that number could double OR triple based on your spending habits. However, there’s hope. If you really want to become ‘debt-free’ and retire happily, then you’re going to need the right advice.
Here’s what bankruptcy lawyer Montgomery Al suggest:
1. Know how much you really owe.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are still thousands out there who are not aware of the exact debts they have. This isn’t just about unpaid utility bills. These will include taxes, credit card payments, mortgage, auto loans, and other miscellaneous expenses you may have incurred over time.
It’s understandable that looking at red numbers can seem pretty scary. But if you don’t face them now, you’ll be in bigger trouble once you start getting calls from a creditor.
2. Seek professional help immediately.
Don’t delay this when you can. There are a couple of ways to get the right assistance you need at an affordable cost (and sometimes, even free of charge). All it takes is a little bit of online research, a few phone calls, and a car ride. One such method is through a credit consulting counseling agency. They can calculate your debts and advise you on how to make slow, steady payments to finally be rid of them.
Another smart option is to speak to a financial attorney. Before you think that they are costly, many offices nowadays offer free consultation. Take advantage of this. Ask them for the best ways to gain financial freedom.
3. Try To Get Additional Sources of Income
Get creative! Dreaming of being debt-free doesn’t have to be so stressful. Today, you can make money out of your talents – whatever they may be! Have a knack for writing? Submit your articles to paying sites OR signup as a freelance writer. Love crafts? Try Etsy, the biggest online shop for adorable and unique gifts from all over the world. Been told you’re an awesome cook? Start your own blog and sell a cook book of family favorites!
On your way to debt-free living, you may even discover hidden skills you never thought you were good at. So instead of stressing out, get your hands dirty!
4. Save A Little Bit For Emergencies
Life is unexpected. And when ‘surprises’ come, you don’t want to be buried in a huge pile of debt again. That’s why whenever you can, begin setting aside a little bit of your money each month. Even $500 could extend medical expenses. If you don’t have proper insurance, now’s the time to evaluate your personal and family needs. Shop around and ask for the best deals.
5. Monitor Expenses
A common mistake a lot of people make is NOT keeping a close eye on their expenditures. Sure, you could be paying your dues every month – but if you barely have extra money, then there must be something else that’s eating a chunk of your cash. Little traps like impulse buying, mobile phone plans, and even that Netflix subscription could be culprits. Always check on how much you earn vs. how much you can afford.
It’s not impossible to be debt-free. The REAL question is: how badly do you want it?