How to Improve Debt

Resist the temptation to use credit cards for non-essential purchases.

Resist the temptation to use credit cards for non-essential purchases.

Building your love nest takes more than romance. It takes big bucks, which makes it all too easy to find yourself heavy in debt at just the time you should be building your bank accounts. If you're in this situation, there are ways you can deal with the problem. Couples should sit down together to map out a strategy to minimize their debt and maximize their future.

Decrease Expenses

You have to know what you have coming in and what is going out to get a handle on your debt. Begin by creating a chart that lists every monthly expense you have, from your mortgage payment to the monthly sum you spend on dog food. Include all your recurring bills such as utilities, credit card payments and car loans. Once you have all your expenses accounted for, you can compare this to your monthly income. Deduct your monthly bills, then set aside 10 percent for savings. This is when you decide how to use the leftover funds, if there are any. Look closely at what you are spending and decide areas where you can cut back. The Good Financial Cents website suggests highlighting each non-essential item you can give up. Also, non-essential luxuries such as cable television bills can be reduced by eliminating expensive movie and sports channels. Once you have cut as much off your expenses as possible, use the extra money to pay down debts. This will improve your financial situation.

Increase Your Income

Aside from cutting down on living expenses, young couples have the opportunity to increase their monthly income. Look for second part-time jobs that can bring in additional funds. Other ways to generate funds are through selling items on eBay or Craigslist, holding yard sales, or selling items at flea markets. There are also ways to increase income through entrepreneurial ventures. If you are a skilled writer, for example, you can make money crafting cover letters and resumes for individuals. Use the extra money to pay down debt and improve your situation.

No or Low Interest Loan

You might need to consider more radical initiatives in situations where you have accumulated a high level of debt in a short time. Consider obtaining a non- interest or low interest loan from a family member or close friend when your debts need to be taken care of quickly. Just remember that once the loan is made and the debt is taken care of, you have a new debt to contend with. According to the Motley Fool, you should work out a payment plan with your debtor so that the funds can be repaid as quickly as possible. This is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with a friend or family member.

Deal with Debts Intelligently

One of the best ways to reduce your overall debt is to consolidate it. Look at the interest rates you pay on various credit cards and finance charges such as car loans and furniture payments. The interest rates are likely to vary, with some being much higher than others. It's usually to your advantage to take a high interest credit card debt and put in on a lower interest card. You should also prioritize the paying off of debts. For example, if you have charged furniture at a no-interest rate for a certain period of time, make it a priority to pay off this debt before the no fault period ends.

 

About the Author

Lisa Mooney has been a professional writer for more than 18 years. She has worked with various clients including many Fortune 500 companies such as Pinkerton Inc. She has written for many publications including Woman's World, Boy's Life and Dark Horizons. Mooney holds bachelor's degrees in both English and biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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