If you have found yourself in a situation where your debts are causing you a great deal of stress, then it is a good time to take action if you have not done so already. Many people delay tackling debt because they think it will be too difficult to accomplish. Often people feel stuck—unsure as to where to start. The good news is that paying down debt does not have to be a painful process. While many books have been written on the subject, you do not have to read a book or take a class to understand the basic principles to get out of debt. One of the best methods for paying down debt is one of the simplest—decrease spending and increase income. While this may sound painful, it does not have to be.

Increase Income

The first thing people often think of when they hear the words “increase income” is that they need to find a second job. While a second job would be a way to earn extra income, for most people this simply is not feasible. The other common way people think to increase their income is to ask for a raise or look for a better paying job. Again, even though it would be nice if making more money was as easy asking one’s boss for a raise or finding a job that pays more—but again, this is not always possible. This is where most people become frustrated and think that there is no way to increase their income. But this is not true. There are many painless ways to earn more money. One of the best ways is to sell your stuff. Look in your garage, basement or your closet. You may have hundreds or even thousands of dollars of stuff you do not use that other people would be willing to buy. Opt to hold a garage sale or take large items such as furniture or antiques to a consignment shop.

Decrease Spending

In order to decrease spending, you first need to need to understand how you spend money. One way to do this is to create a basic spreadsheet that contains all of your expenses for the last 90 days. Then group like items into categories, such as “groceries”, “clothing”, “entertainment”, etc. If you want to get an even better picture of your spending habits, break down each category like “groceries” into individual items. Once you have done this look at each area for ways to save money, such as:

  • Eliminate categories of spending. Eliminating does not have to be painful. For example, cancel your land line if you can get by with just a cell phone. Or trade-in your coffee shop pumpkin spice latte for a cup of quality coffee at home, or by make it a once a week treat instead of a daily ritual.
  • Find cheaper alternatives. Instead of paying for cable, opt for a service like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu.
  • Shop for better rates: When is the last time you shopped around for car or home owners insurance? Do you know the interest rate you are paying on your car or home loan? You could save a bundle just by switching providers.
  • Do not shop without a plan: Do you walk into the grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk only to leave after spending $200? The key to sticking to a budget is to plan expenditures, like sticking to your list at the grocery store.

Tackling debt does not need to be a painful process and you do not have to do it alone. If your debt is causing you anxiety, it is time to contact a Kansas City Debt-Relief Attorney. For more than twenty years attorney Douglas Breyfogle has helped countless Kansas City area residents eliminate their debts. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with Douglas Breyfogle, contact our office today at (913) 742-8700. Do not delay. The sooner you have a solution to your financial woes, the better you will feel.