Especially among younger people, chipping away at large amounts of debt becomes a stressful reality without any clear end in sight. And with the average cost of an in-state public college now at around $25,000, it’s no wonder why. This gets many young people off to a crippled start to growing their wealth after college.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of reasons why people find themselves in debt, even apart from college. People of all ages find themselves in difficult places financially, which can then lead to a downward spiral of increasingly more monetary setbacks. However, there are also many strategies and tweaks you can implement into your life to unlock the shackles of debt.
Below, we will go over various ways you can better your chances against debt and improve your overall financial standing.
Be Willing To Sacrifice
If tightening your belt a bit means an earlier end to your debt, by all means do it. Living lavishly in the interim only to pay for it in ever-growing debt cost is never a good move. As long as your basic needs are covered, experiment with what you can do without. You’ll probably stumble upon a few habits you’ve kept up needlessly over the years just because it was all you knew.
If you have subscriptions that are poorly utilized or non-essential, get rid of them. If you spend money on an expensive gym membership, buy some equipment and put it in your house or explore different gym options. Even something like a simple daily indulgence in coffee adds up over time. A $3.50 cup of coffee each day eventually ends up being at least $70 by the end of the month, and $840 by the end of the year.
Invest For The Future
With all the potential that the stock market offers in terms of growing personal wealth, you would think everyone would be fighting for a piece. However, the stock market tends to scare or overwhelm people. In fact, only 37% of people under 35 have any stocks to their name.
Getting your feet wet in investment is an easy and worthwhile step. Many make their introduction to the stock market in the form of mutual funds, which gives individual investors access to professionally managed portfolios. This gives the lone investor more bang for their buck with the added bonus of relatively less risk than single stocks.
Avoid Credit Card Debt At All Costs
The convenience of a credit card makes spending exorbitant amounts on it deceptively easy. Other times, people have no choice but to work up a large credit balance if a few unexpected expenses come out of the blue. Whatever the case may be, paying credit card debt as soon as possible should remain an absolute priority.
Credit cards may entice you with their travel miles or other perks, but it’s important to remember that one of the ways they make their money is by imposing massive interest rates on any unpaid debt. Often times, these rates are over 20%. It’s best to keep your credit balance low in general and to pay it off in full every month. If you find yourself in a place of difficulty paying off a large credit debt, consider seeing what a personal loan can do for you.
Create A Budget
To more effectively pinpoint where the problems manifest in your finances, create a monthly or weekly budget. This ensures that your spending habits and income are calibrated optimally. Many people avoid doing this small but important task because they think it frivolous or unnecessary, but it can help to elucidate habits that you didn’t even realize you had.
To be growing your wealth, you need to be generating a surplus at the end of the month. To help manage your discipline, set aside a certain amount of money at the beginning of every month that you don’t touch. Then, make ends meet with the remaining money. There may be some trial and error initially, but implementing this habit and making it work will reward your future self immensely.
Find Sources Of Free Entertainment
It’s easy to forget that you can still have fun without shelling out cash for it. In an age where nearly everything is monetized, people forget to look outside the box for sources of entertainment. No matter where you are, free concerts, hiking, or other local activities are often available for free. Don’t assume that the only way you and your friends can have fun is by going out to eat or drinking at the bar.
Take On A Side Job
While millennials may get the short end of the stick in many financial domains, they also have the advantage of more easily turning their leisure time into money. With things like rideshare apps, coding, blogging, or freelance web design, the opportunities to turn those few extra hours into rent money are many.
If you have a hobby or skill that you want to maintain or reconnect with, turning it into a revenue-generating side hustle becomes a win-win. Who knows, if your mastery reaches sufficient levels, you might even be able to start a full-time business or let it slowly take over your dreaded day job.