These days, getting in debt and becoming broke is common to mankind. But, of course, nobody wants to experience such a thing, especially now that life has been turned upside down. So if you’re part of the lucky population that hasn’t gotten into debt yet (or those who are almost finished with paying off their current debt), first of all, let me congratulate you on that achievement or status! Next, let me give you some tips on how to stay that way as much as possible.
Save up for the future
The biggest thing you should think about to avoid falling into the debt trap is to save up enough money for the future. Most people call this having an emergency fund, but whatever name you use, this simply means having a buffer when things go south. This fund can go as much as 2 years’ worth of expenses to simply 3 months’ worth of income. How much you save depends on your situation and the number of dependents you may have.
Saving up for the future isn’t just for future problems, though. It can also be for anything you might want to buy moving forward. So it’s important to learn how to save as early as now and to manage saving even when times are tough.
Avoid the trap of FOMO and YOLO
While I won’t tell you to be allergic to debt and credit cards in this article, I will definitely caution you against trying to keep up with the Joneses or start inflating your lifestyle just because. First off, the best way to avoid that is by understanding just how much you earn and recognize that credit cards do not increase your income. The only thing plastic currency does is to pay for your stuff in advance. You would still have to pay for it once your bills are due.
If you’re someone who can’t avoid feeling envious about your neighbor or your friend’s new car, new shoes, or new bling, just limit your social media use as much as you can. Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter are filled with people’s best stuff and best travel experiences. Nobody posts about their actual bad days and hardships so it’s easy to feel like you’re the worst person in the world if you keep on scrolling.
Increase your income
If you find yourself struggling to go beyond the poverty line, strict budgeting and controlling your urges won’t really cut it. You have to find ways to earn more money for you to have a decent life and be debt-free. Most often than not, poverty is causing people to loan more money than they can never repay. So be smart and take on as many jobs as you can to fill the gap.
Ask for your partner’s help
Providing for your family is hard. But you will be able to deal with the burden if you work as a team with your partner and even with your kids. A relationship based on love, trust, and respect is the best thing to have in this world and will help you overcome any financial challenge. This means you and your partner must be on the same page regarding your money, even if you choose not to mix all of your income. The point is, you have to understand each other’s capacity to avoid going into debt.
Avoid getting scammed
These days, scams don’t have to be something truly menacing like Ponzi schemes that will totally rip you off. There are those that take your money subtly if you don’t stay on guard. These include companies that charge too much for basic services like water, gas, internet connection, and electricity. To protect you on that front, you may visit power setter to figure out just how much you need to pay for your power usage every month.
If you’re already in debt…
Hope is not lost for those already in debt. But you do have to apply all these tips and more to finally break the cycle. First, do not under any circumstance borrow more money. Sell everything you can that’s legally possible to chip off even a penny from your debt. Don’t fall for debt consolidation if you can handle the separate deadlines because it makes you feel like you’ve done something about your debt, when the truth is, you haven’t. You may also join a debt relief program as a last resort to rid yourself of loans.
Getting out of debt may be difficult in this fast-paced world but it is clearly not impossible. You just have to make the necessary adjustments so you can live like no one else.