Debt…Debt…Debt…Truman Advisors Can Help
Ugh, it is like a curse word. We all have it – at least most of us. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have any and I know very few people who don’t struggle with it. We are no different. We get ourselves in debt then fight our way to dig out, then it happens again. For us it has to do with kids, grand-kids, unexpected disasters (they’re all unexpected right?), medical issues and more. I could easily list 100 reasons why debt happens.
Having some debt is not bad – in fact it helps to build your credit and improve your credit score. But it can easily switch to being unmanageable and when that happens it can ruin relationships, lead to substance abuse, insomnia, anxiety, overeating, inability to concentrate, and tear down people who have even the strongest resolve to fix it. It impacts us all not just mentally but also emotionally and physically.
So what can you do to manage your debt and get off this carousel of financial struggles? First, I think it is important that everyone understand – it is possible to get through that debt. It is hard work, takes dedication but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It can feel crushing but allow yourself your moment of self pity and grief and then decide that you are going to do what it takes to stop this ride. And above all – know that you are not alone!
Check out these 5 steps to manage your debt with Truman Advisors
1. Know what you are dealing with
We can all decide we want to get out of debt but what does that debt look like – in real numbers. You have to have all your debt documented with things like the following:
- What is your balance?
- What is your interest rate?
- What is your minimum repayment?
- Are there any special terms?
You need this information so you can have a documented priority of repayment. For example – perhaps you want to pay the minimum payment on everything and tackle one piece of debt first such as your Mastercard. Pay a certain amount above and beyond that Mastercard’s minimum payment each month. When you start if your minimum payment is $100 – pay $150. Now you pay $150 per month, every month until it is paid off. You can see your progress easily because you have it documented. You are watching your balance decrease. But the best part is when that debt is gone – you are not $150 richer – apply that $150 to your current minimum payment of $75 on your Visa. Now you are paying your Visa off at a rate of $225 per month and it will be gone quickly. Then take that $225 and do the same thing to your American Express – and so on, and so on. As each is paid off the snowball gets bigger and bigger and voila – you can see through the clouds to the other side of the rainbow.
2. Stop the bleeding
No matter what stop increasing your debt. Carry cash – make a plan to only use cash. Yes, people like that do exist nowadays. Don’t stop at McDonalds for $1 Diet Coke if you do not have cash on you. And do you really want to spend that little bit of cash on something like that? Think about any purchases you make – you may immediately think “you need that” but take the time to sit back and consider – do I really. Would I rather put that $1 towards my snowball?
3. What can you eliminate?
This doesn’t have to be a negative thing though it does have a negative connotation. For example – you can cut the cable cord and that doesn’t mean you have to give up TV and have no entertainment (though that is definitely an option). But if you are looking for an extra $50 to apply to your snowball – cut the cord and use things like Sling, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu etc… There are so many options for other ways to watch TV that are much less expensive and have probably even greater movie/TV/show opportunities than your basic cable that you are paying an arm and a leg for. Do you need a landline? Do you need as much data as you have on your cell phone? These are all things you can evaluated and trim, change or eliminate.
4. Sell Stuff
We do all of this – not necessarily because of debt but so my horses keep us out of debt. You can sell things you have around your home, you can flip things you pick up at yard sales or on online marketplaces, you can offer a service to sell or even create products to sell. We do ALL of this. Whatever we have time for. I literally don’t have a waking moment where I am not thinking about what else I can do to make money. Not in a panic type of scenario but more because I seriously cannot shut my entrepreneurial drive off. I have never been able to. When I was ten years old I was that kid up at 4am on a snow day from school going from house to house to make money shoveling as many driveways as I could. At 13 I had employees working for me (other kids in the neighborhood). Now I write, create digital products, sell things I can flip, sell things I have around the house, do photography, social media management and so much more. I even have a small side gig where I perform psychic readings with tarot cards. Feel like you don’t have a marketable skill – well then get one! Places like Udemy offer training in so many skills for a minimal cost. My daughter even became a certified babysitter at the age of 14 through them – if she can do it… She also makes “calming jars” and sells them at our local craft store.
5. Become an “I can” person
What else can you do? Something… Anything… Take that step. My autistic son really cannot get out there and work BUT he can do online surveys with Swagbucks… He can scan receipts of ours or any that he finds and make money with Coinout. He can collect cans and bottles and set up a collection with the neighbors. Change the way you think – become an “I can” person rather than an “OMG not again” person…
Seek help from someone like Truman Advisors. You can get help from so many sources out there. Don’t feel like you have to do this alone.