Debt Dodgers – 5 Strategies to Avoid the Debt Trap Forever

Dealing with debt is a total drag. If you’ve experienced the vicious cycle in the past, reap some positivity from it today by letting it serve as a reminder. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made back then, or, for the stress and toll it had on your lifestyle and family. It’s much healthier to focus on making sure you never end up in the situation again. Start by following these five foolproof strategies for living your best life and steering clear of debt.

1. Run Away From Credit Card Offers and Payday Lenders

The bigger the financier, the less likely they are to have your best interests at heart. If you find yourself in an emergency financial situation you can’t cover with your savings, take out a low interest loan from a community-focused lender. Their smaller, more affordable loans and financial counseling services are designed to help the community, unlike the big banks who will always try to upsell and sneakily offer more credit than you can afford to pay back.

2. Say No To Pay Later Schemes

If it’s not a matter of life or death and you’re offered to pay in increments rather than upfront, do not accept. If you cannot afford something at the moment, do not buy it. While this point may seem obvious, many people carry debt because of this common mistake. Whether it’s for a new television, car or just a bicycle, a pay-later scheme leaves you indebted to someone and can be risky if your expenses or financial situation changes. It is much safer to buy upfront or not at all.

3. Prioritize Your Emergency Savings Account

While you can’t predict the future, you certainly can do your best to safeguard it. Create one designated bank account strictly for emergency use and make sure it’s not easily accessible – maybe use a different bank. Calculate the cost of six months worth of living expenses and put that amount in your emergency fund. It may mean depleting your checking account or a bit of aggressive saving for a while but if one day, you fall into financial trouble or lose a job this will be your safety net.

4. Generate Multiple Streams of Income

Job security can be a bit of a misnomer if you only have one job. By generating your income from a few different sources, you’ll gain the capacity to earn more money and have a plan B should anything affect your main income source. Setting up an online store or website is easy if you’re an artist, craftsperson, or have a supply of anything valuable. You can generate ad revenue if you write a blog or create content online or even make money by outsourcing your services on gig sites or selling second-hand items.

5. Renegotiate Your Ongoing Expenses

It may surprise you to know that most service fees we pay for on a daily basis are negotiable. This is especially true for all privatized billing services like your energy and gas, insurance, bank, phone and internet providers to name a few. Visit a rate comparison site and explore the competition to find the lowest rates. Unless you’re already on the most cost-effective plan, present these numbers to your provider and a lot of the time, you’ll find they actually can afford to charge you a lot less!

Keep these tips in mind and pay close attention to your spending habits. You’ll be able to save more money, enjoy more freedom as well as financial security.

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