Probably the most difficult part of reducing your debt is knowing where to begin. Along with the obvious methods of increasing your income and making changes to your lifestyle, debt management involves setting spending priorities. Luckily, the most essential payments tend to be the same for everyone.
Mortgage or Rent
Your mortgage or rent payments must always be your top priority, warns Equifax. Making these payments will ensure that you and your family have a secure place to live and that you are at no risk of losing your home.
After rent or mortgage, your next priorities should be essentials like electricity, gas, water, and sewer utility bills, taxes, and food. Health, car, and home insurance premiums also fall into this category — if you need to make a claim, having your premiums fully paid will avoid the danger of falling into greater debt. Try to keep some money in savings to pay for unexpected essentials, such as costs not covered by your insurance policies.
Examine your expenditures for the previous six months to analyze exactly what you are spending money on and make a note of all your unessential expenses. You may be able to cancel your gym membership and cable TV subscription or reduce costs by switching to a more economic plan for your phone and Internet.
As Free Money Wisdom explains, smart spending should not mean that you feel miserable and uncomfortable; it should simply mean that each dollar you earn goes as far as possible. Whereas you can still enjoy occasional pleasures in life, you should make changes such as limiting the number of meals you eat at restaurants and avoid buying items at a higher price just for convenience. Setting spending priorities means never wasting a single penny.
After deciding what lifestyle changes you are able to make, it is time to create a plan to eliminate your credit card debt. One strategy is to make minimal payments on all your cards except the one with the least debt — clear this first. Another method is to start with your most expensive card and work through to the least costly.
Setting spending priorities and forming a long-term plan is often more difficult than it sounds. Contact us at Superior Debt Relief Services for debt management advice and support tailored to your individual needs.