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I have a great contributed post for you today on knowing what's stopping you from paying off credit card debt. It's for informational purposes only, so please consult a financial professional before making any money decisions. Got it?
It’s very easy to get into debt, but getting out of it is a different story. You can get yourself into debt in just a couple of months but paying it all off can take years. It means cutting down on costs and making some big lifestyle changes to find the extra money to make repayments.
Unfortunately, that’s not always enough. Even when you’ve found the money to make the extra payments there are still obstacles that stop you from paying it off.
If you aren’t prepared for these challenges you’ll be stuck in that hole forever.
Credit card companies make most of their money from customers that can only afford the minimum repayments because they’re paying a lot of interest over the years. When you’re just paying the minimum amounts, you’re basically just paying the interest but not actually clearing the original debt itself.
The only way to get out of that cycle is to increase payments and pay off the debt faster rather than just sticking to the minimum repayments.
Paying off debts usually means that you’ve balanced your finances perfectly and there’s not much extra left over. If you get hit with unexpected costs like the death of a loved one or house repairs that need doing, you’ll have to spend the money that should be going into paying down those debts and you can easily get behind on repayments.
If you don’t have the money, you’ll have to look for funerals on a budget and try to do home repairs yourself, but what you should be doing is putting money into an emergency account in preparation for these situations.
People often give up on emergency savings when they’re trying to pay off debts because they don’t think it’s more sensible to put all of the money into repayments. However, when those unexpected costs hit, you’ll be in more trouble if you don’t have an emergency fund.
Paying off debt means making a lot of lifestyle changes and people often run into trouble because they haven’t got their priorities right. When you’re making those cutbacks, you have to decide what’s a necessity and what’s a luxury. This is where people usually fall down and make it way harder for themselves to pay off debt.
The bottom line is, only housing, food and transport are necessities. Obviously, you need to have some leisure time but things like TV packages and expensive mobile phone contracts often end up on the list of necessities.
If you’re serious about getting rid of that debt, you’ll have to be ruthless with your budget and be realistic about what is actually necessary. It might mean that your quality of life takes a hit but it’s only going to be for a short while until you’ve cleared the debts.
If you don’t face these big challenges, you’re going to be stuck in a cycle of debt for years to come. Every time you get hit with an unexpected cost or spend money on things that you don’t need, you extend the amount of time that you spend trapped in debt.