Are you ignoring phone calls from creditors and dreading the thought of being late on another mortgage payment possibly leading to foreclosure? Does it surprise you to know that struggling to pay bills contributes to 90 % of divorced couples? Are you providing your children the life you want for them? If debt is controlling your quality of life then it is my intention to inspire you in 10 ways to gain back control for you and your family.
10 Gold Nugget Take Aways
Take Ownership for Your Part- In order for you and your partner to move forward on your journey to be free from struggling to pay bills, playing the blame game for your situation must end. Acknowledge the mistakes that you made contributing to the situation, recognize what didn't work and develop a plan together. It is what it is, know that you can change it and regain your freedom.
Get Control of Your Credit Cards - Taking time to understand your credit card terms and regulations is truly pain staking and can change at the discretion of the lender but if you don't know what you are being charged for interest, late fees, penalties and annual memberships you are subjecting yourself to a vicious cycle of slow financial torture. Paying off your lower balanced credit cards can provide you with confidence and momentum and when left open can improve your utilization ratio which improves your credit score.
Re-negotiate Interest- Once you know your APR for your credit cards, Google your credit card company to see what rate new customers are paying. It may be upsetting to learn that you are paying a much higher rate than new customers but this will give you leverage after you compose yourself and make a call to negotiate a lower rate.
Check for Deals- Do you have homeowner's insurance and auto insurance with the same company? Do you have a bundle package price with your internet cable and phone providers? If these are services that you can't live without and you are struggling to pay bills then perhaps there is a less expensive package you can obtain if you bundle services with one company, especially if it has been awhile since you checked. Available options may have changed. This money you could be saving could be use instead towards an emergency fund and or tax free retirement plan.
Consolidate- When reviewing your debt; consolidate your finances when you can. Contact a debt management agent in your state to help you. Take the initiative to make your circumstances better if you have unsecured debt of 10k or more. In some states old debt, usually 4 years or older,may be removed.
Mortgage Freedom- Refinance to get a lower interest rate. Research your best option to make at least one extra mortgage payment a year. Depending on your financial situation sending an extra payment of 10% of your mortgage separately each month towards principal is one way. Make sure that you have a written agreement with your bank. Another option is to call your mortgage lender and get on a bi-weekly automated payment plan. Banks don't encourage these plans because they are losing money.
Figure Out Your Latte Factor- An immediate call to action is to figure out how much money is being spent each day on little expenditures that surprisingly add up to a significant amount of money over the weeks, months and year. You can then eliminate these unnecessary expenses and allocate the money instead to savings.
Increase Your Financial IQ- Americans have learned some unhealthy habits when it comes to money, just how big business and government have taught us. If you are struggling to pay bills, cut the puppet strings and become aware of opportunities to create and grow wealth having the financial freedom you desire and deserve. Research home based business opportunities that can increase your cash flow. Learn ways to create passive income. You must be willing to step out of your comfort zone learning new skills, but really how comfortable is it to be stressed and worried everyday about bills and finances, fighting and arguing with your significant other and living in fear for your future?
Get Automated- When being overwhelmed with finances and trying to determine which bill has priority it can seem almost impossible to get on a payment schedule. Debt Wise is a system powered by Equifax that prioritizes your debt payments for you. You'll have access to your personal debt dashboard assisting you to stay "on plan," as well as credit report monitoring.
Invest in "You Inc."- You are your greatest asset and life your greatest gift. Believe in who you are and the dreams you have. Often times we allow our financial circumstances to rob us of those two things holding us back from living a life of fulfillment. Make a list of what you want more of in your life and be grateful for what you already have. You know what doesn't work in your life and only you can change your old patterns and behaviors. Do whatever you must to create the best version of yourself and love your life!
Learn more about creating your financial freedom.
Lynn Clarke, in her former life, taught our youth how to become life long learners in the public school system. Today she inspires entrepreneurial parents to becoming life long earners, leaving a legacy behind. Lynn inspires others to recognize the opportunities that are available to them through the revolutionary educational platform