14 Ways to Defeat Debt in 2014
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) When it comes to the imminent new year, most of us have financial goals -- many that have to do with debt. If in 2014 you want to get your debts down -- and most of us do -- then there are a few things you can do to get on the right track.
Of course when it comes to big-ticket loans, like student loans and mortgages, we all know that they are unlikely to be abolished in a single year. But if you have smaller debts, such as a credit card, there is a chance you can cut them significantly, or even get rid of them completely. You are going to have to be willing to do a little bit of extra work. If you're ready to get started let's talk about the mix of both universal strategies and some interesting tricks that will take advantages of changes in 2014.
Replan Your Budget
Most people know that having a budget is a good thing. They just never make one. Or they make a pretty one on paper and then it gets blown. Or maybe you have one, but it was made years ago. No matter which situation you find yourself in now, the odds are good that the New Year is a great time to write, or update your budget.
Set Your Bills to Auto Pay (as much as you can)
One of the best ways to make sure that a busy life does not lead to you missing a bill, and getting an attached penalty fee or interest rate, is to put your bills on auto-pay. Of course this works best if you have a steady job. If you freelance, or work in a profession with variable income each month, then the best thing you can do is get your bills due dates into your planner, no matter what form it may take.
This may take many forms. For some people, this will happen automatically when you set up the nuts and bolts of your budget. By adding $100 in direct deposit to your savings account you will have less mad money to play with. For others this may mean cutting out a luxury, such as your largely unused gym membership. Other options for spending less, if all of your bills are mandatory, include cutting back on gifting, driving less and spending more time at home.
"The old saying that a penny saved is a penny earned is still true today," said Beverly Solomon, the Creative Director at musee-solomon. "So the more you save at any and all levels, the more money that you have to cut your debt. Once you make saving part of your value system, the rest is easy." Now we all know it may not feel easy to begin with, but once you are used to the change spending less will be part of your routine and you won't even notice.