Debt is hard because it is powerful enough to restrict your lifestyle. It is very prohibitive that it limits your spending power. One thing it puts pressure on as well is your expenses. You will have bills to pay with or without debt. Having a bigger debt only increases your dilemma on whether to prioritize payments that reduces your debt or focus on your monthly expenses.
The answer is simple – it is essential to juggle both items. Your debt payment and your monthly expenses needs to be paid consistently. The biggest adjustment is how much goes to where.
The first thing you need to do is determine how much your debt payments are every month. It would help also to jot down the due dates of each if you have more than one. It can guide and remind you when the payments are due. These debt payments has to be made every month. It does not go away if you delay, it only gets bigger and bigger with every missed payment.
The next is to carefully study your monthly bills. These would be your utilities, food or groceries expense and even your cable or internet subscriptions and club memberships. These are all your expenses that can be evaluated and adjusted depending on your actual needs. The purpose is to weed out your wants from the essentials and modify other expenses to lower down the cost.
It could be cancelling subscriptions to those channels that you rarely get to watch. Consider also getting a lower internet speeds to save on a few dollars. Try to re-asses as well if you have club memberships that you can let go. Clothing also could be toned down and buying only on occasions when you need to. It could even develop your sense of fashion by having to mix and match existing pieces.
If you are renting your house, check if you really need to have the space you have with the size of your family. Do you need that extra bed or that pool at the backyard? Switching to a different and most likely smaller home that is just right for your actual need could give you a little more elbow room in your monthly budget.
All these could help you lower your monthly expense payments and be able to focus on both your bills and debt obligations. This is critical so you do not get deeper into debt.
In making your debt payments, prioritize the secured ones. This is to ensure that whatever collateral you put up will not be seized by your creditors. You do not want to lose your car, your business or even your house because you defaulted with your monthly debt payments. You can prioritize the others further down but be very mindful of interest rates. Unsecured loans tend to have higher interest rates because of the nature of the loan. The creditors are taking a risk because they do not have a collateral thus, they assess a big interest rate. You can always use a debt relief program to help make your unsecured debts more structured. Programs like debt consolidation can be of huge assistance.
If at the end of this exercise and you find some extra money left every month, consider putting it into your savings. Grow your savings and your reserve fund because if at some point you find yourself in a bind, you have a deep pocket for reserve. It also cuts the vicious cycle of borrowing money every time you have an emergency which only gets you deeper in the red.
[…] [Read: How To Keep Up With Both Bills And Debt Payments] […]