Getting some financial input and tools from Brett MacKay from 10x Investments (www.10x.co.za). The purpose of this article is not to provide financial advice but rather educate people on finances where we can.
To be honest, there is no real shortcut to clearing your debts quickly. Debt can be a very useful tool, or it can completely destroy your finances. Managing how to use it properly is not easy. Paying it off is even tougher. There are two simple strategies; earn more or spend less.
When we talk about spending less in order to clear debt we are talking about lowering your expenses to a level where you have leftover funds every month to pay off any debt or credit. The faster you pay off your debts the quicker you can get started with saving/investing and building up your net worth with those funds too.
Here are a couple of tips to help lower expenses and pay off debts quicker:
1. Order fewer deliveries/ takeouts – make more meals at home
2. Review all insurance premiums/cell phone contracts
3. Review your banking fees
4. Shop at cheaper grocers (Woolworths vs Checkers)
5. Use a budget or budgeting app like 22seven
6. Make a list of upcoming expenses to ensure you are financially ready
7. Start a side hustle even if you start small
8. Start an emergency savings account that can be used as a safety net
9. Make use of reward/benefit programs wherever you can
10. Split up your paycheck to pay off the priorities first
I think it is important to understand the effect that taking on debt can have on one’s long term future. Most people do not understand the compounding effect that the interest they have to pay back has over time. My rule is never to pay for something on credit (except a house or vehicle) unless you are able to pay it off in at least a month – easier said than done though.
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