Digging yourself out of debt

Getting into debt is way too easy these days. Whether it’s a small loan, a credit card or a store account, borrowing money is a slippery slope. And it’s dangerous, especially if you’re still a student. Banks and loan companies are more than willing to lend you money, but paying it back is the hard part.

At first you think you’ll only borrow a small amount or spend just a little bit extra on your card. You’re convinced you’ll be able to avoid getting in credit card debt and promise yourself you’ll be responsible. But that’s often not the case. And before you know it, you’re drowning in debt.

But it’s not the end of the world. Here are some steps you can take to get yourself out of debt.

Take a serious look at your finances

Look at how much debt you’re in and calculate the interest per month. Then carefully go through your budget and finances. How much are you spending on necessities like rent, food and transport? And, more importantly, where can you cut costs? Is it possible for you to take public transport instead of driving? Can you shop at a cheaper grocery store? How much are you spending on take away food and eating out?

Pay as much as you can as soon as you can

The problem with credit cards and loans is that the amount you owe increases with interest every month. If you pay the minimum amount on your credit card, you’ll end up paying way more money back and it will take you forever to get rid of that debt. So, cut out all luxuries and only spend what you absolutely have to. You may have to limit your social life for a while, but it’ll be worth it when your debt is paid off.

Don’t borrow any more

Cut up your credit and store cards. Pay off your loan without taking another one. And make a firm decision to never let yourself end up in debt again. You may need a credit card later in life so you have a credit history, but make sure you’re more responsible next time around.

At the end of the day, you need to dig yourself out of this hole as quickly as you can. The sooner you’re out of debt, the sooner you can get on top of your finances once again. The last thing you want is to end up in debt counselling before you’ve even finished your studies.

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