How to Stay Motivated when Getting out of Debt

Starting a plan to get out of debt and keeping that plan are often two different things. It’s a lot like starting a diet when the New Year starts. You start off good, but then a week or two into it, you quickly fizzle and go back to your old habits.

So how do you stop this from happening when you’re trying to get out of debt?

Here are X ways to stay motivated to get out of debt.

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You can Conquer your Debt

Conquer Your Debt

If you’re sitting on a lot of debt right now, first know that you aren’t alone. The pandemic wreaked havoc on most people’s finances. Now that we’re seeing life get back to somewhat normal, you may wonder what you should do with your debt or if it will just hound you the rest of your life.

The good news is there are ways to conquer it. Here’s what you can do.

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Warning Signs you May Have too Much Debt

Warning Signs of Debt

How much debt is too much? It can feel impossible to tell, especially since any debt can feel burdensome. But there are a few ways to tell that you have too much debt and that it’s time to do something about it.

Before you use a credit card or take out a loan, it’s important to determine if you can afford the payment. If it will put you over the edge, it’s too much. Here are some other ways to tell if you have too much debt.

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How Social Media Affects our Spending

Social Media Increases Debt

Social media is a way of life for most of us, but did you know it could affect your spending? You may not even realize the direct connection, but we’ll show you ways that you might be spending more than you intended all because of your Instagram or Facebook feeds.

Comparing Yourself

How often do you watch someone’s feed and think poorly of yourself? Maybe they have something you don’t, or you want to be just like them. What do you do?

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Pay Down your Debt and Put the Interest Money Toward Savings

It’s a common debate consumers face – do you pay down your debt or save money? You want to get rid of your debt, but you also need money saved for emergencies, so what do you do?

What if you could have the best of both worlds?

If you pay down your debt but continue ‘paying yourself’ the interest, you’ll get out of debt AND save money.

Here’s how!

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How to Maximize your Spending Plan (AKA Budget)

Maximize Spending Plan

Get the Most for the Least by Shopping Carefully

Budgeting can be like strong tasting medicine – it’s one of the most challenging remedies to take, but its effectiveness cannot be denied.  Whether you’ve got money troubles or not, a budget will help your finances.  You don’t make a budget just to fix problems – you have to do it all the time.

A spending plan is more than just a list with numbers.  It’s a willingness to do things that may seem inconvenient at the time, but add up to a considerable advantage when you’re looking to cut costs, without sacrificing quality.

Here are some everyday actions you can take that will make your bottom line look better:

Check Prices
Ok, so you’ve decided to make a purchase, and you’ve budgeted for it.  Before you expend precious funds, make sure you’re getting the best value for your dollar.  Ask yourself the following:

“Can I save money by buying used?”  A lot of times, a used item will serve just as well as a new one.  Appliances, for instance, are often available used, many from dealers who will offer a warranty.  Clothing, too. Many discount stores offer name brand clothing, gently worn, at a fraction of the original cost.  If you’re ok with previously enjoyed clothes, you’ll find that you can start dressing really well for really cheap.

“Is another store having a sale on this item?”  Is the sale good enough to justify the extra travel time and expense?  Try to avoid paying more just for convenience.

“Is it less expensive online?”  Sometimes it’s worth having to wait a few extra days for delivery.

Prepare your Own Meals
We can’t stress enough just how much impact this one simple act can have on your bottom line.  Take out or delivery costs several times as much as preparing a similar item at home, and when you make it yourself, it’s how you like it.  Compare the savings to the time spend preparing meals, and it’s like you’ve got another job that pays really well.

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New Couples and Money

As published in the January/February 2017 issue of Balance, a Manitoba Teachers’ Society publication.

Balance Jan Feb 2017 - New Couples and Money

You’ve just moved in with your current love or maybe you’ve just got engaged. This is a happy, exciting time in your life. The two of you may have discussed where to go on a honeymoon, whether or not to have children, how many or where your dream house will be. But have you had a conversation with each other with regard to your finances? Everything listed above costs money and both of you need to be honest with each other regarding your finances in order to have those things.

As you begin a new, permanent relationship, it is time to set your financial goals as a couple and to be honest about your money values.

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Tell Your Money Where to Go

Most people avoid developing a spending plan. It’s just no fun hearing the same things over and over – “be frugal, be thrifty, save every penny you can for a rainy day.”

Unfortunately, failure to develop a spending plan usually results in our money waving goodbye every payday, and when bumps in the road occur and they will, (life being, well, life) you find yourself with very difficult financial challenges.

There’s got to be a happy medium – something between the regimented, enforced frugality that is so often presented as the solution to your life’s financial future and the carefree spending that’s going to land you in trouble. Taking control means that you take back full control and “tell your money where to go”!! No more letting it simply wave good-bye!

Save Money with a budget planEnter the Save-to-Spend concept, a system of budgeting that will have you future-proofing your money, while still allowing you to achieve the things you want, and even giving you some “mad money” for the things you didn’t know you wanted. It is really all about pre-planning by putting your short, medium and long term goals on paper. Once you have them, put down what the costs are for each of them. Then prioritize them and determine the length of time it will take you to save for each of them. A simple example is buying a new big screen television. If the cost is $1200 and you want to have it in one year, start putting $100 away each month for it. This is far different then the buy now pay later program where you forget to pay off the interest free loan and end up paying 30% interest back to the day it was delivered. This is an example of a change from that path of instant gratification to one of delayed gratification!

The concept goes one step further and includes the most important part of any plan and that is building your emergency savings account. These are just a few simple examples of a very old concept that we need to return to.

Of course, you can’t make money from nothing, so there are going to be some sacrifices. They will, however, seem unimportant as you quickly see your bank balances grow with all the individual financial goals you have set.

Just remember you need to keep happy while you work within your Save-to-Spend plan! Like dieting, if you tell yourself you can never enjoy one of the foods you love, you’ll likely cheat. If you allow yourself the occasional treat, you’ll be happier overall and are more likely to get the result you want. Save-to-Spend has been proven to be effective.

If you have questions about Save-to-Spend, budgeting, or any other topic related to debt or personal finance, contact Creditaid anytime online or by telephone at (204) 987-6890.