Tips to help you get out of debt

by Debt Discipline

Being in debt is never an enjoyable experience, but it's something that far too many people face at one point or another. After all, loans, credit cards, and other expenses can make it difficult to live debt free, but just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's impossible. If you are struggling with debt, it's time to pull yourself out from under the financial burden. Instead, use these five tips to help you get out of debt.

Create a budget
In order get out of debt, the first thing you need to do is create a budget. There are many different ways to create a budget, so you need to find the method that works best for you. Basically, no matter what method you use, you will need to do the following: list your expenses and list your income. This will help you see what you have coming in and what you have going out. From there, you can create a budget that will allow you to pay everything on time and use your surplus to pay off existing debt.

Pay down debt
In order to get out of debt, you need to start paying it down. One of the best ways to do this is through the snowball effect. Make a list of all of your debts in order from smallest balance to biggest balance. Then, write down what you typically pay toward that debt on a monthly basis. Adjust your budget (if necessary) so that you can make a bigger payment toward the one with the smallest balance in order to pay it off sooner. Once you have paid that one off, roll that payment into the payment you make on the next loan/credit card. Continue doing this until all of your debt is paid off in full.

Don't take on other debt
In order to get out of debt, you need to eliminate the appeal. For instance, while you're working on paying down debt, don't take out a car loan or open a credit card. This simply creates more debt. Instead, once you pay off your debt, start putting that extra money into a savings account. This way, when you want to buy a car, you can do it in cash instead of taking out a loan. Keep in mind that it is okay for you to keep your credit cards open, but put them in a safe place so that you're not tempted to use them except for emergencies.

Find ways to save
For most people, the hardest part about paying down debt is finding the extra money to get it done. Unfortunately, most people live paycheck to paycheck, and extra money isn't easy to come across. However, this simply requires you to get crafty. For instance, can you take on a part-time job and use that paycheck solely to pay off debt? If not, try to make extra money in other ways. For instance, see if you can cut down on your expenses, such as switching to a new car insurance company with a lower premium or reducing your cable package. Switching to a company like Mercury Insurance could end up saving you a few hundred dollars a year, and eliminating pay channels from your cable package can also save you come cash. Anything you can do to save will help you climb out of debt.

Getting out of debt isn't something that you can magically do overnight. In order to help you get out of debt, you should look to lower monthly payments by reducing your interest rate. This can be done by refinancing loans, such as an auto loan or a mortgage. When you do this, you can either use that extra amount of money you save to put towards other debt, or you can continue paying the same amount to reduce that debt more quickly.

Living with debt may be stressful, but if you use these tips, you will have an easier time climbing your way out of debt and into a more financially secure future. When that happens, the only stress in your life regarding money will be choosing how to spend it.

The post Tips to Help You Get Out of Debt appeared first on Debt Discipline.

RELATED: How to improve your finances using social media

How to improve your finances using social media
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How to improve your finances using social media
"Friend" Your Credit Cards and Bank

Add your credit card issuers and bank to your social media accounts by "friending" or following them. Large institutions usually offer deals to followers, so you can enjoy a lower APR, higher savings interest rate, or other money-saving promos. In fact, according to U.S. News, social media is often the first outlet that banks choose to share news about upcoming deals.

Social media is also possibly the best way to get in touch with customer service quickly, as it will allow you to get their attention more easily. Just make sure to keep your account information, address, and any other private information off the message boards and social media pages.

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Enjoy Travel and Shopping Deals

There are endless travel and shopping deals available through social media. Retailers often choose social media as the first outlet to announce upcoming sales, so their friends and followers are able to take advantage of the biggest discounts first. Followers are frequently offered early deals, as well.

You can find Twitter-specific deals that can save you on everything from rental cars and vacations to eating out and even buying gifts. Before going out to make any purchases, check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to make sure there aren't any deals that you're missing. You can even check social media hashtags, such as #deal, to find the best deals in your area.

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Share Goals

Many financial experts recommend sharing your financial goals online. By setting your goals early and sharing them with the people you love, it can help you articulate what you really want and hold you accountable to achieve your goals. In fact, research has shown that making public statements about goals can help you achieve them more efficiently. However, you never want to reveal anything too personal, such as private information that fraudsters can use against you.

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Get Money-Saving Tips

By following your favorite finance site on social media, you can find endless free money-saving tips and updates. You can also find forums and group discussions with unique money-saving ideas and encouragement from others. You can even find good financial and investment advice online.

Seeing these tips on a daily basis on your social media pages can also be a good reminder each and every day to protect your hard-earned income. After all, we all need a reminder once in a while that we don't really need that new top or expensive latte in the morning.

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Find a New Job

LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool when you're searching for a new job. You can apply for jobs directly through LinkedIn, perfect your resume, and even reach out to potential employers and former colleagues. Contacting them through Facebook or Twitter won't be as effective or as professional as contacting them through LinkedIn.

With LinkedIn, once you have created a professional profile, employers and recruiters can even reach out to you with potential job offers. You can also join LinkedIn groups within your field so you are the first to know about potential opportunities. You can even add examples of your work, recommendations from current or previous coworkers, and any honors you've received to better build your online portfolio.

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Make Connections

Networking through social media can result in better face-to-face communication, potential job offers, and endless contacts in your field. Simply following someone or sharing their social media posts can be a great first step in networking and making connections.

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Build Your Brand

Whether you're promoting your personal business or services, or just want to build your reputation as the best in your field, posting on social media can be a great start. Just make sure to stay consistent so that you can reach as many followers as possible.

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Research More Efficiently

Gone are the days of asking for financial suggestions from friends and coworkers. Whether you're looking for a new financial planner or would like information on which investments to make, you can find more information quickly through social media. With a simple social media search, you can find detailed research on the investment product or financial adviser you're interested in.

You can also find suggestions for dentists and other service providers in your area through social media. This will ensure you get what you're looking for and don't waste money.

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Sell Your Items

If you create and sell items privately, such as through Etsy, social media can be a great free platform for you to advertise your products or services. This can help you bring in more revenue, reach new customers, and show off your work to a limitless audience.

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Make Some Extra Income

There are even ways to make some extra income using social media. If you have a large following, you can publish sponsored tweets or sign up for affiliate accounts, where you will receive your own unique link to earn some extra income when followers make purchases using that link. (See also: 6 Ways to Make Extra Money Using Social Media)

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