By Joey Ader
The battle against growing debt is a challenge for many individuals and families. Building up debt is easy with interest rates, late fees, overdraft fees and other additional costs that are added to an account. When it seems that debt is starting to get out of control, it is time to take action to eliminate the problem.
Getting The Tools You Need To Control Debt
While it is not possible for every individual to take courses in debt management, the basics of eliminating debt are the same for just about everyone. Debt is eliminated by organizing personal finances and getting individual spending habits under control. By spending less, more money is available to pay down debts.
Tools are available to help organize the financial data and create a budget that will improve spending habits over time. Applications and online tools are particularly useful when it comes to debt elimination.
DoughRoller suggests using free online budgeting tools to organize necessary expenses and identify harmful and sometimes overlooked spending habits. Online tools range from simple fill-in-the-blank templates to Excel spreadsheets that make it easy to track spending, identify patterns, and keep up with bills before the due date. When using Excel spreadsheets, it is usually best to find an online backup system to avoid losing the budget in the case that your computer crashes or there’s an emergency. If you’re attempting to track many different recurring expenses, making sure your budget is safe is integral. An online backup will ensure that even if the original template and budget is lost, a copy is still available.
Budgeting tools online allow individuals to keep up with spending by filling in their specific information. Fixed expenses, like rent and insurance payments, are automatically added to the next month in most online systems.
Applications for phones are also useful tools to get out of debt. The apps allow real-time entries of spending while on the go, so it is easier to find out when and where unnecessary spending occurs. Lisisoft has many helpful apps for debt control.
Basics of Reducing and Eliminating Debt
Owing money to any creditor can lead to stressful situations. Whether the debt stems from student loans or it comes from credit cards and a mortgage, it can easily get out of control if it is not managed early. Understanding the basics of reducing debt is part of using applications and online tools to their maximum potential.
According to HPSNJ, the basic method of getting out of debt starts with income and necessary expenses. It’s impossible to reduce debt without first knowing how much money will come in each month and then organizing where the money is spent. Necessities like rent, groceries, insurance and (at least) minimum debt payments are the expenses that should be automatically subtracted from income each month.
It is only after determining whether the expenses exceed the income or if money is left over after the necessities that making a plan to reduce debt is possible. The plan should work on finding ways to reduce spending if the necessities do not leave any funds available for additional payments on debts.
Debts that start in college, such as student loans, are especially challenging to manage. According to the Indiana University News Room, student debt is a problem that requires education. The rising cost of college combined with students who do not fully understand the loans used to pay for their tuition can result in debt growth that is hard to manage even after getting a full time job. The colleges are beginning to recognize that students need education in personal finance and have begun implementing programs to help prevent high debt problems in the future.
Getting out of debt requires budgeting and careful planning. By paying more than minimum payments to creditors each month, it is possible to slowly work off the debts. Ultimately, debts can be eliminated with the appropriate tracking tools.
Joey Ader loves talking about the ins and outs of financial situations. He is a freelance editor and writer in the finance niche.