3 steps to a debt-free life

Institutions make their money by lending money to you at a rate over the time allocated. Simply, the longer you take to pay, the more it costs you - and the banks thrive on it.

Debt is so easy to get into and very difficult to get out of.

Prevention is always better than cure, but the reality is that we get enticed into debt over time and soon find ourselves in it way too deep.

The cost of debt climbs quickly and robs us of the potential to create wealth.

You can benefit by reversing the formula.

Interest + time = profit

You cannot reduce the interest rate but you can reduce the time = less profit for institution

Less interest for the institution means more savings for you.

More savings for you compounded over time = more wealth for you.

Here are 3 steps to getting ahead of your debt:

Coping with debt is like trying to fill up a bath without a plug.

Step one

Put the plug in by making a conscious decision to get out of debt. The debt needs to be identified and cannot be allowed to increase further.

Credit cards, overdraft, personal loans, store accounts, even outstanding taxes - all have to stop if you want to reduce the time you are spending paying off your debt.

Step two

Open up the tap with your disposable income. This is the money that is left over after your cost of living expenses during the month.

Focus on living expenses. Split your expenses into ‘nice to haves’ and ‘must haves’. This is the hard work. Being honest with yourself in identifying what you need and what you can do without.

Step three

Keep a close eye on the water level. Divert the new found savings back into the debt instruments.Targeting the highest interest bearing one first - and then working through the next one.

You need to patiently keep your living expenses well under control. A new year brings a wave of price hikes. So your cost of living is going to increase anyway forcing you to squeeze those living expenses even more tightly.

It is a classic case of ‘no pain no gain’, where the benefits are certainly well worth it!

For more information, listen to the audio below...

Read more from Paul Roelofse at www.investforlife.co.za


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