You’re back online looking for cash advances, payday loans or possible title loans in order to get yourself out of a sticky financial situation. You aren’t really sure how you got in this position or how you are going to get yourself out, but you do know that something has to be done fast.
Let’s face it; these types of loans are only good for a few hundred dollars’ worth of help. If you need more cash than that or you have already used them in the recent past without finding relief, they may not be your best solution. It’s best to go back to the beginning and see when your financial troubles began and maybe even what prompted them to take the turn for the worst.
* Has your debt increased sharply over the last year or two? Look past the home mortgage and focus in on credit card debt. Keeping debt over the long-term is paying others interest which you could be earning for yourself. Don’t fall into low interest marketing traps and spend recklessly through credit cards.
* Did you purchase a new home or car expecting your income to increase? If you need to make such large purchases, buy within your current means. You can’t expect careers to grow as they did in the past. Many employers are struggling to keep the staff they have, never mind continue to promote and raise salaries year after year.
* Was your vacation purchased on credit? Short-term purchases should not become long-term debt. The rule of thumb towards debt is that the time it takes to pay off a purchase should not be longer than the life of the purchase. If your vacation lasted a week, you should be able to pay off what you charged in the same amount of time. Of course this may not be totally realistic, but in general the concept is to pay it back as soon as possible. Stretching your vacation costs over a few years only increases the price of your vacation and decreases the impact of your income on future purchases.
* Did you purchase something to keep up with your peers? This practice is risky as everybody’s personal financial status varies. How many different peers are you trying to keep up with? Do you have a budgeted category for this spending? How much do you put on credit cards?
* What about a retirement account? It is not something to worry about down the road. The sooner you can start, even with something small each month, retirement days will benefit. The interest you pay each month on credit cards could be building your future wealth.
* Did you quit your job before finding a replacement? Were there funds set aside to carry monthly costs over until a new one was found? Did you live off your credit cards? The sooner you can start building a savings and keep it there, the better off you will be in the long run, especially if finding a new job turns out to be a lengthy process.
* If you are paying off debt instead of putting money into a savings, make sure you are not rebuilding debt someplace else. Putting extra money on a credit card payment but then needing to use a different one to cover costs is not a plan to solve debt. Make a new plan that will work.
Your new plan may be create a skeleton budget with only the basic needs. Stay clear of credit cards and cash advances while you put money away in a savings. Set short-term goals and treat yourself for each one met. Debt reduction is a process, so stay strong and make your finances come alive.