Debt is a part of life for millions of people, particularly young people just starting out in their lives and careers. But just because debt is common does not mean that it should be embraced or ignored. Indeed, the accumulation of debt increases chances for financial pitfalls by keeping creditors and obligations always in your life, no matter what happens to your income.
Living With Debt
Living in debt allows people to spend and live beyond their means. They can reside in fancier houses, watch bigger televisions, and drive more luxurious cars. But debt creates a number of problems that can be much more debilitating than any pleasure derived from extravagant spending. Missing debt payments or getting behind on a debt can lead to a lower credit score which makes further borrowing difficult. Falling behind on one’s debts can also lead to wage garnishments and constant, harassing calls from borrowers. Some debt sufferers stay up at night worrying about their financial security or spend years unable to answer their phones for fear of debt collector calls.
Even if you feel as though your debt is under control, no income source is guaranteed. An injury or layoff could result in your income dropping down to zero. In that case, whatever money you can use from savings or unemployment benefits must be used to make ends meet. Basic expenditures will be present, but so will long-term debts. Debt does not go away or back off when a person’s income is diminished or drops to zero.
Getting Out of Debt
To get out of debt, you have to focus on the money coming into your life and the money going out. That dynamic sounds simple, but in fact there are many places in which people spend money or take in money that they have never thought twice about. Making a budget and a financial plan will help you figure out where your money is being spent. The planner can then find places in which they are unnecessarily spending money and reduce those payments by as much as possible, sometimes by curbing expensive purchases or reducing money spent on recreation.
A person afflicted by debt can also increase the amount of money coming into a household. They could consider investing disposable income in mutual funds instead of leaving it sitting in cash or checking accounts. A person afflicted by debt could also consider another part-time job. No matter the route, the person afflicted by debt needs to consider whatever steps it will take to get out of debt, curb their fears, and stop the calls from debt collectors.