Time to get out of debt

By Nila Sweeney

Feeling like you're drowning in debt can be one of the greatest stresses in life, and so it's worthwhile taking the time to map out your road to recovery. Your Money Magazine provides you with a guide to climbing out of the debt cycle and seeing your finances get back in the black.


1. Stop borrowing. It's easy to say, but often the hardest thing to do. Piling on more debt may seem like a short-term solution when you have bills rolling in, but it’s worthwhile making sacrifices wherever possible to avoid adding to what may already be a mountain. Speak to your bank about making a payment plan to chip away at your loans.

2. Let your friends and family know. Be vocal with your loved ones; let people know that you're trying to save money. It will stop them from enticing your to eat out and overindulge in socialising. Plus, they can be the voice of reason for you if you try and slip up.

3. Get rid of your credit cards. This may not be possible straight away, but if you're the kind of person who tends to spend more than you have, going with a debit-credit card may be the answer. It will give you the benefits of a credit card, such as shopping online and making bookings, whilst only spending money you already have.

4. Change your outlook. Having a negative attitude never helped anyone climb out of debt, and switching your attitude towards positivity can be the breath of fresh air you need. Start attacking the debt with fervour and don't stop until it's gone.

5. Stay busy. As the old saying goes, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop- so don't hit the shops just because you're bored. Seeing things you otherwise would not have wanted is one sure way to add to your debts. The same goes for watching TV at home- mute the ads or pick up a magazine during the breaks to avoid the advertising onslaught.

6. Plan before you buy. Don't just pick things up as you go. It's very important to plan ahead for the things you need, rather than gathering as you go. Think carefully about needs as against wants. Take a hard look at your spending habits and really consider your necessities.

7. Avoid fees. It's not just a nice notion, it's very easy to do if you're organised. Keep a diary of all your incoming bills and be sure to pay by the due date. There is no point adding to the pockets of service providers just because you didn't make a note of the date. Also become savvy with the ways banks add additional charges.


Ultimately, getting out of debt is not easy and it takes a big commitment to make it a reality. There are a lot of temptations out there, but the stress is not worth it. Getting out of debt is akin to going on a financial diet, and depending on your situation, it may take months, or even a year or two. But the rewards are well worth it.


-Stephanie Zillman