Debt can be scary, and the bigger it gets, the less you want to think about it, right? But no matter how terrifying that pile of unopened envelopes might seem, debt can be a lot easier to pay off than you might think. All you need is a few smart and simple strategies to get you started.
The GOAL strategy
Set goals for yourself, for instance, ‘My goal is to pay off 10% of my debt in the next three months.’ Start with a small, achievable goal and use the momentum gained to propel you towards achieving your next milestone.
The BITE-SIZED strategy
Don’t look at your debt as one big heap of ‘bad stuff’. Instead, think of it as small chunks, which makes your debt far less intimidating to approach. If you focus on paying off small chunks, you’ll have chipped away at that big boulder in no time.
The HIGH-INTEREST strategy
If you have multiple sources of debt, such as loans and credit cards, identify the ones with the highest interest rates and focus on paying them off first. By resolving your high-interest debt, you’re essentially putting more money back in your pocket.
The PAY MORE strategy
Every loan or credit card has what is known as a minimum repayment, which is the minimum amount you need to pay back every month. By increasing your monthly repayment even by just R100, you can significantly reduce your debt and loan term to save on interest in the long run.
The RESHUFFLING strategy
The interest rates on your loans and/or credit cards are most likely higher than the interest you’re earning on your savings. Be smart and reshuffle your low-interest savings to pay off your high-interest debt faster. Tip: Don’t touch essential savings such as emergency or retirement funds.
The UNSUBSCRIBE strategy
Go through your credit card statements and identify any subscriptions for luxuries you can live without or old ones that you’re no longer using. Even if it’s a R45 subscription, take the time to cancel it – every little bit helps.