If you’re looking to achieve financial freedom or achieve the life you’ve always desired, you’re going to need to learn how to avoid debt. Every penny you earn is used to pay someone else to cover your debt. Put that, when you’re in debt, you’re doing work for an individual.
This means that you’ll never be able to achieve your financial goals while you’re in debt. It is crucial to stay clear of debt completely.
However, this can be a challenge. Advertisers are adept at convincing us to spend cash, even when we don’t even have any. In addition, peer pressure and our views about wealth, and the majority of us are in debt.
#1. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS
The best way to figure out to stay out of the burden of debt is to be within your budget. This is more complicated than you think because our society is now an instant-gratification society. Everybody wants things today and isn’t able to delay buying something.
This means that if you aren’t able to pay for something, you cannot afford it and should not buy it.
Add to that, advertisers can draw us into our emotions to convince us to purchase, and it’s no wonder that we are so entangled in debt.
How do they convince us to pay for their services? They understand that the emotional part of our brain functions faster than the rational brain. Therefore, they use our emotions to decide what we make purchases. If you experience buyer’s remorse a couple of days or weeks after, the rational part of your brain is caught up, and you realize that you don’t need or want the product.
It’s too late since we’ve already purchased the item. However, you can beat the advertisers in this Game.
Here are some games I enjoy playing to combat purchasing things.
- The waiting Game If you feel the urge to purchase something, note it, and then wait at least a week to determine if you would like it. In most cases, you’ll discover that you do not want it anymore.
- It’s the Pause Game: Like the waiting Game mentioned above, it takes only a few minutes instead of an entire week. This isn’t as successful as waiting games. However, it will reduce the amount you spend. Take an hour to think about things.
- A Stranger Game: Imagine that someone is sitting in your face with this Game. One hand holds the item you’re looking for. On the other hand, is cash is required to purchase the item. Which one would you instead get more, the item or money? If you decide to go with money, or you hesitate to buy it to buy the item, it is your signal never to purchase the item.
- The Right Now Game: This game asks you to think about an inquiry. If you had this item now and now, would you? It is best suited for clothes in the sense that, would you use this item today? If not, then you don’t need it and shouldn’t get it.
The main ingredient to all these games is getting you to think. The more time you spend doing it, the lesser you’ll spend at the whim of a moment.
What happens if you have a desire for the product? If you’re not able to afford to buy it at this moment, You’ll know that you’ll need to save to pay for it. It may not be enjoyable to put off purchasing items until you’ve got the cash, but it’ll help you appreciate your possessions so much more.
#2. SET UP A BUDGET
Analyzing your spending and knowing what you can spend, you will aid in helping you stay out of financial debt. There are three methods for you to monitor your spending.
- Excel Spreadsheets Excel Spreadsheets manual process, however, is perfect for those who enjoy the hands-on method. This article is for a list of 10 free spreadsheets to download.
- Tiller is similar to Excel spreadsheets. Tiller relies on a Google Sheet. It’s still a spreadsheet. However, it automates the majority of the procedure. You can alter the template to your preferences and automate the majority of budgeting. Learn more about it here.
- Personal Capital: If you are looking to automate your budgeting completely, you should consider Personal Capital. The app is free and allows users to establish specific categories to monitor and update to keep you up-to-date every day. Find out more information here.
Spend some time to decide which one is ideal for you and your requirements.
I’m sure many of you have heard the word”budget” and become anxious. It’s not limiting your spending. It helps you use your funds in a manner that will make you happy.
At the moment, you are likely to be spending money on things that you think will provide you with happiness. They do not, which is the reason you’re spending money on a variety of seemingly unimportant items.
When you budget, you find out what you value and spend your money accordingly. You are happy today and are making progress towards achieving your objectives.
What if you don’t want to spend money?
Take a seat with pen and paper, and create two columns. First, note down your total costs that are necessary for your lifestyle, like food and shelter expenses. On the other hand, note down the additional fees, including entertainment and other gadgets.
Begin to keep track of the expenses you incur in your non-essential column, as these expenses are the ones that tend to cause us to be in the most significant problems.
Stick to a Savings Routine
Automating your savings plan helps you build a solid emergency fund and save money to fund other goals, such as retirement. Additionally, if you remove that money from your checking account, it is less likely to use it up and eventually in debt.
Make automatic transfers every month to your savings account and retirement savings account–if you do not make a direct contribution from your pay to a company 401(k)–and college savings accounts such as a 529 plan. The ideal amount to save is based on your circumstances. However, If you’re using the 50/30/20 budget as a reference, you should aim to contribute around 20 percent of your earnings after tax to savings and debt payment.
#3. BE HAPPY
If you’re looking for information on how to stay out of debt, the solution is to be content. If you’re bored or unhappy, the chances are you’ll indulge in spending money. Consider me as an example.
When I finished college, I was depressed and spent money to feel content. Shopping for things gave me a short-term boost. However, the high faded quickly, and I had to buy many more things.
It was only when I understood who I am and started taking better control of my emotions to conquer my bad habits of spending.
Therefore, you should take some time to figure out the things that make you happy. If you want an excellent read to assist you in thinking about this, take a look at this article.
It is also essential to review your budget to keep track of what you’ve done with your money. In reviewing your expenses, consider which ones brought you joy not only when you purchased the item but in the present as well.
You’re trying to find the items to spend money on, which will give you long-term satisfaction your way.
#4. DON’T BUY LOVE
This method of reducing debt is linked to the previous idea of happiness. It is essential to be happy with yourself and be proud of your worth. Some people believe they have to purchase things for other people to feel loved. Anyone worthy of love does not require you to buy them anything to show them how much they are in love with you. They will be grateful because of you.
While at college, I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I purchased items for my then-girlfriend as I believed that purchasing her things was a way to show that I was in love with her. In reality, I didn’t have to buy her anything to show her how much I loved her.
Be sure to appreciate yourself because you are unique and know that other people love you because of that. It might take some time to increase your self-esteem. However, it is possible to do it.
Here are two books I’ve found interesting to read to aid me to become a better person.
#5. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
I’m sure you’ve heard of the expression, “don’t keep up with the Joneses.” The statement is correct. The effort to keep up with other people is futile. Find the joy in your personal space and, as I said, keep your money in check.
Actually, in reality, the Joneses who own all this stuff are likely to be drowning in debt. Do you doubt me? I suggest you go through The Millionaire Next Door.
It will help you see how the majority of the wealthy live their lives. You won’t see an average millionaire. They appear like a normal person. The person who looks like a millionaire is likely to be a lot further away from being a millionaire than you are when you factor in all their debt.
I discovered this from my previous job as a worker for the wealthy. They are ordinary people you’d never realize are worth millions of dollars.
Don’t allow people to advise you on what to buy, what to buy, how to live, and where you should put your dollars. Make these choices for yourself. You’re bound to fall into debt when you listen to other people.
#6. LEARN THAT CREDIT CARDS DON’T MAKE YOU AN ADULT
When you graduate and are in the workforce full-time, you’re a gold-digger to banks. Your credit score is likely to be good, and you’ve got an increased income stream which is both excellent attributes to lenders.
Sooner or later, you’ll receive credit card offers through the mail that includes bonus reward points as well as travel benefits and cashback deals. Do not accept all of them; otherwise, you’ll soon find yourself with a pile of debt.
Choose the offer that is most appealing to you, then accept it and discard the other offers. A variety of credit cards won’t mean you are financially accountable. The reverse is the case.
A responsible adult involves clearly understanding your spending limits and staying within your budget. It’s not about getting the highest number of credit cards or the most significant limitations that you could get.
If you decide to use credit cards, restrict the number of cards you use and make sure you responsibly use them.
#7. USE CASH INSTEAD OF CREDIT CARDS
Contrary to the previous point, making payments through credit cards might be efficient, yet it’s also the most efficient way to accumulate debt. This is why people can max out their credit cards each month.
If you pay cash, you only pay for what you’ve got. This can save you from paying the interest on your credit cards when you fail to complete the amount before the month’s end.
To avoid the financial burden, use your credit card for purchases of more excellent value that would like to have the additional security you can get by buying with credit.
In other cases, pay cash for purchases.
#8. USE YOUR CREDIT CARD LIKE A DEBIT CARD
The significant distinction between a credit/debit card and a debit card lies in the fact that, with credit cards, typically, you are given 30 days before you need to pay. If you have a debit card, the amount you spend is taken out of your account as soon as it is. By using a debit card, you avoid debt.
If you’d like to use a credit card, you have to get cashback, but you want to stay out of getting into debt, the best option is to use Debitize. This free service allows you to use your credit card to earn points or money back. However, you will see the purchases and transfer the cash to your account for checking into an arrangement with Debitize. If your bill has been paid, Debitize can pay the nose on your behalf and make the payment in full!
Utilizing these services, you can avoid debt and reap the benefits you’ve always wanted! Click here to find out more about Debitize.
Build an Emergency Fund
It may sound odd; however, having an emergency savings account is crucial in avoiding financial debt. Experts suggest saving three to six months’ worth of essential costs–more if your job is unpredictable, seasonal, or freelance. This will ensure you have a savings cushion if you are laid off from your job.
Another reason has to have an emergency savings account is to pay for unplanned expenses that could otherwise be billed to the credit card. If your car requires urgent repairs or dental work, for example, you can pay for it using your emergency funds if in a position to (and replenish it whenever you can). This way, you won’t be getting into financial debt on your credit cards that may take years for you to repay.
The most important thing to remember when trying to get out of debt is being a lover of yourself, learning not to be a victim of others, and staying clear of credit cards. If you can accomplish these steps, then you’ll be on the road to avoid debt.
And the earlier you get rid of debt, the quicker you’ll start building your wealth and progressing financially.
What if you are already in debt? Learn how to pay down your debts quickly to be financially successful and not feel the burden and stress of being in debt for a long time.