How to Tackle Your Debts in 2011

Ray Lewis Tackling

Many people set themselves financial objectives, and I think it’s a great way to keep you financially motivated and focused. It’s a harsh fact of life that getting in debt is so much easier than getting out of it, however with a correct plan of action you can make it easier. Before you can ever consider your finances to be in a healthy position tackling your debts should be your first priority.

Analyze your debts

Before starting to tackle your debts, you first need to find out how much debt you actually have, and some of you may be surprised by what you find out. When you’re writing down your debts, try and remember everything, the easiest way to do this is to check your monthly account statements to track what money goes where.

List your debts

Once you have a list of your debts you should then list them in a specific order. I think the best way to go about this is to list them in the order you think they should be paid off. You should always look to pay off high interest debts first, as these will be the ones that will cost you the most money, tackle these debts aggressively then move on to the less important debts.

Budget to pay off your debts

To start paying off your debts you should first set up a budget. When used correctly, a budget can be one of the most effective financial tools. Write down all of your monthly income and expenditure and take one away from the other to give you a flexible income figure. You should target to use an amount of this figure each month to pay back some of your debts.

Cut down on your spending

Once you have your budget in front of you, you may not be happy with the amount of money you can afford to use to pay off your debts, so to increase this amount you need to cut down on your spending wherever possible. Look at your regular payments, like you car insurance, or cell phone bill, and use a price comparison website to find the cheapest price for you. Also, try and be more frugal when you’re out and about and cut down on any unnecessary purchases.

Set up your debt objectives

Now you know what your debts are and which you would like to pay off first, it’s now time to identify how you plan to pay them off. Set some specific targets that you can measure, so you know how you are progressing. Also break up your objectives into some short term and long term aims, and evaluate your progress from time to time to make sure you are hitting your targets.

Remember…

Tackling your debts is a difficult progress, and it takes perseverance and will power to ensure you remain on the right track, but there is no better feeling than when you realise what you are doing is actually making a difference in your life.

Article written by Money Supermarket

8 Responses to How to Tackle Your Debts in 2011

  1. Veronique says:

    Great easy steps, sometimes harder to follow but working if we do!

  2. Sounds like some great steps to follow!

    I know when I have debts, I like like to list them in a spreadsheet :)

  3. Listing those debts under the yearly objectives sheet will certainly help you keep track of what’s left to tackle!

  4. Briana Ford says:

    I made my plan yesterday and determined to eliminate all but my personal loan debt by this time next year. Extremely excited :)

  5. IIW says:

    The most important debt for me in 2011 will be the mortgage, so that will be my biggest priority. Although new furniture, etc… will take up a big portion of new spending, we’ll have to prioritize and keep things in check. After all, unlike the government, I can’t force other people to pay my bills for me. :)

  6. Good tips. They are simple, but they sure are difficult to live by! My wife and I still owe some money to my parents, but if all goes to plan, we should have this paid off by April, 2011! Then we’ll be completely debt free!! Can’t wait.

  7. Great advice! We track our student loans on mint.com and have a plan to knock them out over the next 2-3 years. Cutting your spending is the toughest part – it’s easy to make a lifestyle adjustment when you see more $$$, but make a concentrated effort to put that towards debt.

  8. Janet says:

    If only there weren’t so many temptations on there … I sometimes wish I wasn’t stylish, then I wouldn’t care about spending money on new duds. :)

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