The warning signs are unmistakeable: the euphoric high of several intensive shopping trips followed by a crashing low at bank statement time. Repeating this pattern of over-spending is likely to send your budget to break-point. Fortunately, you can take action to shake the habit with the help of the following guidelines:
- Make a debt diary
Write a comprehensive list of who you owe what to. Be honest. Just like a weight-loss diary, everything adds up so be scrupulous when recording monies owned in your debt diary. This will give you a true picture of your debt situation, ultimately helping you rid yourself of the problem down the track.
- Check in to Debt Rehab
Tailor a debt management plan that will work for you. Think about repayment options. Should you roll all your debts into a personal loan and doggedly stick it out or should you opt for a new credit card with zero or low interest balance transfer offer? Should you, in fact, check all your bank accounts to make sure you are still getting the best deal possible and that your precious money is not being eaten up unnecessarily in fees and charges?
- Take a debt toxin fast
There’s no doubt personal debts will weigh down a healthy financial system and produce sluggish results. Purging debts via a fast is a great way to rid your financial system of toxins and begin the purification process. This is easier than you think once a solid debt repayment plan has been put in place. The more you stick to the plan the more rewarding it becomes as your debt load gets lighter and lighter.
- Eradicate binge buying
To problem purchasers, retail therapy is nothing more than binge buying. It can set your progress right back so avoid it at all costs while you are debt detoxing. The best way to avoid the binge buying temptation is to ignore catalogues and learn to walk past stores emblazoned with ‘Sale’ signs all over their windows. That way you can also bypass an underlying problem suffered by most serial swipers – the inability to distinguish between want and need.
- Stay clean
Regaining control over debt is a powerful incentive against relapsing. The sense of achievement is immense and should be celebrated, preferably in a relatively non-expensive way. The road towards staying clean of lingering personal debt is to examine all your banking products – credit cards, loans, mortgages, transaction accounts, savings accounts etc. Pay particular attention to the fine print and determine if you can do better going forward. You may well discover there are savings to be made if you fine tune your financial product portfolio.
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