You own one or two vehicles, have a mortgage and are saddled with unwanted debt.

You love nice things right?

But what if liking the finer things in life led you into a vicious cycle of debt that keeps rising and keeps your nose to the grindstone? 

That newest trinket or gadget might make you feel better for a little while – or until you get your Visa bill. If you’re serious about eliminating your debt, then stop spending and start planning.

Ready to find out how to get out of debt? Let’s go!

Say No to Emotional Spending

Make it a point to never shop just to make yourself feel better. Stress leads people to spend money in an attempt to relieve some of the life pressures they’re under. This is often referred to as emotional spending. 

Sadly, emotional spending leads to more stress from having spent the money! When you’re upset, don’t look for answers in retail therapy and don’t shop to keep up with friends or family who can afford a higher lifestyle than you can. 

If you can’t afford it with cash, don’t buy it. This will help stop credit card purchases and impulse buying. Carry a certain amount of cash with you and leave the ATM card at home – along with the credit cards.

Make a Plan

To eliminate your debt, you need a plan.

And you need to know where you stand right now.

Using a notebook or ledger on a software program like Excel, and divide it into two sections. The first is for your living expenses such as your utilities, food, etc.

In the second section, make columns for debts and anything you spend money on such as entertainment, haircuts and so on. This will help you keep track of how and where your money is being spent each month. 

Once you see where your money is going, take steps to eliminate unnecessary spending. While you’re cutting back, start putting any extra money that you’re saving toward paying off the existing debt.

Pay over the minimum

Write down how long it’ll take you to pay off them off if you keep paying exactly what you’re paying now. Pay as much extra on the minimum as you can afford each month. Most people usually start by paying off the one with the highest interest rate, but some financial advisors recommend that you start by paying off the one with the smallest balance. Decide what’s right for you.

Modify your mortgage

If you’ve had a reduction in income or an illness that’s caused you to struggle with your mortgage payments, call your mortgage company. 

Many offer what’s called a mortgage modification plan. This modification simply means you may qualify to have the terms of your original loan reworked-resulting in a lowered interest rate and lowered monthly payments. 

You may also need to restructure your living quarters by downsizing into something more within your means. It doesn’t have to last forever – just until you can get back to a healthy financial bottom line.

Pay attention to your bills.

Sounds simple enough, but some people pile bills unopened and just pay the bill without ever going over the bill itself. Do you pay your cell phone bill without looking at it? 

Many people have figured out that they were overcharged not once, but multiple times. Wouldn’t you rather that go in your pocket than the cell phone company’s bank account?

Put something in savings every payday.

Even if it’s only $20. 

You can get your debt under control just by staying alert to what’s going on and working toward paying it off little by little. Don’t let yourself see the situation as hopeless. There’s help available if you feel lost, confused or frustrated. 

Once you have it all paid off, don’t make the common mistake of recharging everything up again. This just puts you in the same bind and causes you more stress. There are many people who pay for everything (even cars and homes) in cash – and they no longer have the financial worries most consumers are burdened with.