By Ralph Nyadzi
Are you part of the ever-increasing number of millions around the globe who are looking for ways to get out of debt or to avoid accumulating more debt? The following are potent measures you can use to say a final bye-bye to crippling personal debt.
1. Get realistic about your income and live accordingly.
One major reason most people pile up debt is that they live well beyond their means. So, if you’re serious about avoiding debt in your life, one big thing you need to do right now is to sit down and assess your real income level.
Know exactly how much money comes into your home or small business within a week, month or year. This includes salaries or wages, profits on investment, interest on savings and all other income sources available to you.
The next step is to find out if you’ve been spending much more than you actually earn. Your answer will surely be yes. What then are the things that make you spend more than your actual income would normally allow you to?
You will then need to take a firm decision that, come what may, you’ll learn to spend only what you can truly afford. This is one surefire way of avoiding the situation where you take money that does not belong to you and spend it anyhow. That’s borrowing we’re talking about here. And, needless to say, the day you avoid excessive borrowing by spending realistically is the day your debt will begin to diminish.
2. Stop all unhelpful, expensive habits.
I’m referring to those well-known habits which cost us a lot of money but bring us nothing except health problems and financial worries. If you can stop or reduce excessive smoking and binge drinking, for example, you’ll be surprised at the positive impact this change will quickly have on your personal finances.
The same applies to eating out too often (instead of preparing healthy, cost-effective meals at home) and consuming unwholesome foods.
This is what will happen if you ditch your unhelpful, expensive habits. You will be in a better position to reduce your medical bills and also conserve money for more important areas of your life so that you do not have to borrow money needlessly.
3. Commit to instant payment with cash.
Credit cards are great, aren’t they? But look at how the excessive reliance on them could ruin your financial standing if you’re not careful?
For those of us in the developing world who are still waiting to “enjoy” the benefits of a cashless economy, there’s still the danger of taking advantage of the numerous credit facilities being dangled before our noses every moment of the day only to end up piling up the kind of debt we have no clues as to how to erase them from of our lives.
The smartest thing I personally do is to avoid credit purchases like the plague. Because I’ve realized that it’s better for me to live with less without worrying about debt than to live with things I haven’t yet paid for. That’s the approach you need to start using immediately.
4. Jump out of the rat-race and begin to simplify your life.
Come to think of it. Realistically, what are the things a human being needs to live comfortably in this world? Adequate food, a roof over our head, a manageable collection of clothing items and what else? Tell me.
So you see, much of the extra material stuff you’re struggling to add to your life only burdens your short life and creates room for amassing crippling debt for yourself.
I can tell you from my personal experience that one easy way of avoiding debt is to stop buying and acquiring all those things you don’t need in order to live happily. Let others continue to be in this crazy competition of buying more and more stuff just to impress others, spite others or boost their egos. It’s of no use if you ask me.
Actually, nobody can help you get out of debt except your own self. Whatever the level of your personal debt at the moment, I urge you to continue to have hope. You can get out of debt and stop accumulating more. Find ways to pay back what you already owe. And, while at it, try my suggestions above and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the positive results this will bring to your financial affairs.