Monday, February 18, 2013

Climbing Out of the Debt Hole

Acknowledging debt is a hard step to take, requiring a lot of courage followed by a very deep breath. But it’s only half the job. The rest of the problem is paying at least some, or all of the money you owe, back. Unless you are very lucky to stumble upon, win, inherit, or steal a large sum of money (that last one is not recommended), you’ll have to start on the long road of making repayments and with a constant squeeze on living standards, it is tough. It is not impossible, however...


This is where it starts. Without the right “can-do”, attitude it will always be a vertical climb that looks impossible. If the sheer size of your debt scares you into catatonia, breaking your debt down into manageable milestones could be what gets you moving. This is particularly positive when your personal finances are restricted in the first place, making belt tightening all the more difficult.
Let’s say you have a debt of (insert number here). Instead of thinking about where you’re going to get the magic number from, think about where you’re going to get the next £100 or £500 from to pay down the bill. The number you choose must be one you’re comfortable with; one you think is possible for you to obtain.

From Apathy to Action

Now that you have set some manageable targets, you can start taking action towards achieving them. Sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? Don’t let that be a reason for you to disengage with the simple fact that if you don’t start making money; your debt will only grow. Creditors understanding only lasts as long as they money is coming in.

Clearing Out

We’re all surrounded by stuff; the accumulation of money spent on ideas that led nowhere and dreams that, for one reason or another, were abandoned and left to gather dust. It’s time to make use of the thing you don’t use by selling them. Amazon, Ebay and car boot sales are all great. Choose whichever you’re most comfortable with. Some items, like musical instruments, will do better in private sales. It’s worth getting a valuation before you advertise.

Unusual Opportunities

There are opportunities everywhere, if you’re open to them: the door-to-door salesman who likes your attitude and offers you a part time job (it happened to me); the friend that needs a problem solving or something fixing and will pay for a good job done; an advert requesting healthy volunteers for paid medical trials (companies like GSK will pay up to £2000 per trial for up to four trials a year). All of these opportunities are out there and should be utilised.

Broader Horizons

Perhaps you really are worth more than you think. Perhaps it’s time you had a pay rise. Perhaps there’s a better job out there with your name on it. If your current situation makes it impossible for you to live without getting further and further into debt, change your situation; look for a better job, look abroad. Don’t let your apathy keep you in debt.

Climbing Out of the Debt Hole contributed by Sally Shaws.

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