You’ve been working on a plan to get debt free but have you considered what you need to do to stop the cycle of debt from repeating itself. Once you have done the necessary work to regain control of your finances, you need to continue to work on staying debt free.
Here are some more tips for breaking the cycle and the bad habits of debt:
Declutter Your Life
Getting rid of the clutter that is in your life can give you motivation to live a simpler life. You can gather up the stuff you no longer need or use and sell it out of your garage for some spending money. If you don’t feel like hosting a sale, give it away to charity and take the tax deductions you are eligible to receive. Also keep in mind that when you rid yourself of the old, don’t rush out and get new. Rule of thumb: If you haven’t used or even seen something in the last year, you likely do not need it.
Pay As Much as You Can
Whatever money you have available should go toward your debts. You can’t expect to save any money with outstanding debts so pay off everything you can with the money you have. Once you beginning paying off the debts and freeing up your money, you will be able to establish and contribute regularly to a savings plan.
Don’t Let Pride Get In the Way
As you work your way out of debt, don’t be afraid to accept the help of those who are offering. As people you are close to see you working hard to achieve your financial goals, they may be inspired to share some of their wealth with you. Maybe they will buy you a nice dinner since you stopped going out to eat or maybe a nice gift just because. Don’t assume they are giving gifts to a “charity” case. Accept the gift graciously and remember the kindness down the road, when you can do the same for someone else.
Give Yourself Time
If you are digging your way out of deep debt, don’t expect to have all of the right answers. It may be a long process of trial and error but you can learn from such experiences and become a better manager of your money. No one is born with advanced economic skills so don’t have these expectations of yourself. Congratulate yourself for all your accomplishments, big or small.
Listen to What Others Are Telling You
If your family and close friends pass along advice or observations about your financial situation, don’t automatically dismiss it with a bad attitude. You can learn a lot from what other people see from the outside that you may not always see. Most people mean well and the ones who don’t, you’ll likely know who to trust. This is not to say that you need to let others tell you what to do. Since everyone has a different financial situation and different needs, no one solution will work for everyone but at least remain open to other ideas.