Getting Out of Debts & Living Debt Free
Identifying the Cause of Debts
It is extremely important to first understand how you got yourself into having debts and what type of debts before formulating a plan to get out of them. What’s difficult is how you classify the needs and wants when getting a personal loan from a friend or a bank, or maxing out your credit cards.
i) Draw a box and list out the regions by listing them as Needs (Left top), Wants (Right top), Desires (Right bottom) and Don’t Need (Left bottom), don’t split them now.
ii) On a separate blank area, list down all those things you have been buying for the past 3 months.
iii) Next is to park all these items in the respective regions. Generally classifying them to Groceries, Work related, Family related, Personal desires.
Most of us would have groceries and family related in the Needs region. This is where you should know by now the other regions are mostly unnecessary things not important to us. Yet those are the things, that got most of us into debts!
Paying minimum, best effort payment or disciplined schedule payment.
Which repayment model are you using now?
Majority of those who have huge debts or increasing debt size normally start from the first 2 repayment model. The latter is equally bad and would also get you into debt situation if you are unable to have discipline in maintaining it. So what’s the best? In actual fact, none of them!
Being debt free is the ultimate goal but that’s not possible, especially in the modern world. Therefore, we must constantly refer back and consciously remind ourselves the priority of our cashflow.
One of the best methods in controlling cashflow is not to consider credit cards or personal loans as a form of cash to use. The cashflow should only be 100% of what you be getting as a monthly income, be it commission based, variable income or fixed salary.
It is easier for a fixed salary individual to set aside certain percentage as emergency fund, expenses fund and leisure fund. Anything excess goes into either emergency fund or investment fund. For commission based and variable income, we need some reverse engineering and the first priority should be the expenses fund.
Set a goal and start planning today, it is never too late.