So far we have started a spending diary, filed and checked our bank statements, and cut out some waste. Now pick one debt to tackle today, and make a start on paying it off (or at least stop it getting any worse).
Debts include things like overdrafts, credit or store cards, loans (including payday loans), or informal borrowing from friends or family. Mortgages or student loans are low interest debts, and aren’t a priority unless you’re in arrears with them.
Work out what you can afford, and make a plan. You could pay off a small debt entirely, move a credit card debt to a zero interest card for some breathing space, or make a plan to pay off a larger debt over time and make the first payment. If you have any low interest savings, it’s smart to use at least some of them to pay off high interest debts – you’ll be better off in the long run.
If you’re really struggling, contact a free, non-profit or charity debt advice organisation for help today, such as StepChange Debt Charity (formerly known as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service). DON’T contact a commercial debt consolidation company, they will make a profit from your problems.
Today I’ll be paying off my post-Christmas credit card bill all in one go before I get hit with charges, from the money I earned and saved in my Extra, Extra 2012 experiment. It went well, and I’ll definitely be doing another experiment with extra earnings throughout 2013.
How are you tackling a debt today? Let us know how you’re getting on.
The pennygolightly.com Jump Start 2013 ebook is now available at Amazon. You can use it all year round, and it contains all kinds of extra tips and resources to make your Jump Start January go with a bang. We’ve put loads of work into it and we’ve deliberately kept the price nice and low – please buy one and help support this site. There’s more information about the ebook here.