Once you’ve fallen into financial difficulties then the worst possible thing that you can do is to do what most other people in the same situation do – panic.
They become stressed, they get angry, they blame everyone else but themselves. They blame the sales person for tricking them into buying their brand new 50inch plasma TV, which they couldn’t pay for outright so had to make up a payment plan on finance.
They blame their partners for being too frugal with their cash and for not planning for the future. They blame the banks for not giving them any leeway on paying their latest bill. And then they’ll probably even blame their employer for not paying them enough money for the great job that they do, or that they don’t provide them with enough overtime opportunities.
After you’ve vented all of your frustration and anger at the world and society, there’s one of two things you can do. Nothing – that is to sit and dwell on your poor misfortune and to let the debt rack up and simply do nothing about it, because you’re too angry or too mournful to do anything about it.
Or, alternatively, you can pull your finger out and get yourself a pen and paper (or for those of you living in 2020 you can get onto your laptop/ipad/desktop and load up Excel). You will then draw up a 12 month calendar and will gather up all of your bills, invoices and anything else that you’re paying out for throughout the year.
You will add these to the yearly chart, making a note of at what date you owe money, plotting it for the whole year ahead. Basically what you’re doing is finding out exactly where, when, and for what your money is going on.
Surprisingly this allows you to see 3 things. It allows you to see where your money is going. It allows you to see when your money is leaving your account. And it allows you to see what it is your money is being spent on.
This enables you to see clearly, in black and white, exactly what your money is going on, and how much of it is leaking away. Then you can either stem the flow, bandaging up any dangerous losses by simply cancelling whatever it is you have to pay out for (if this is possible, of course).
It also allows you to plan for the future. If you can see that you’ve got a massive bill arriving in 2 months time maybe it will kick you into action enabling you to do something about it.
The quickest way to get out of debt is not to sit and dwell on things and to over analyze (which for some people is all too possible). The way to deal with it is to take action – take no action and you’ll see no change. But if you can tot up all of your outgoings, see where you’re getting stung on high rate interest charges, and see if there are any greater financial packages available (perhaps you can shift your current debt across to a new credit card which offers 0% interest on balance transfers and on purchases for 12 months?).
Don’t be afraid to ask help – there’s plenty of it available after all. Have a look at many of the financial advice forums online, where you find some real experts willing to help you out of your troubles. Or go and seek a free independent advisor. There’s plenty of help out there for people who are trying to get out of debt, all you need to do is to take action to try and seek out that help.