Are you burdened with debt? A debt or multiple debts that you’re struggling to repay? Don’t worry, with the right plan it will get easier, I promise.
If you use this as a guideline you will become debt-free. There is no doubt in my mind.
Where does it all start? How did this happen you were doing so great. You went to school, got a degree, the world was looking bright. Besides the debt that’s now hanging over your head. Years of schooling are expensive!!
Life finds a way to be burdensome and cause problems.
After school, you worked your ass off at your job and worked your way up the ladder, or you are still trying to work your way up the ladder. Ahh, Perhaps the chosen field is saturated with like-minded people in the same boat as you. This, in turn, is making finding a job in your field very difficult, to say the least.
We don’t all have the parents that can afford 8 years of Harvard. But, here’s the key. Even if you went to Harvard for 8 years did it guarantee you a job? A career?
No, no it did not. This is something that all too many young kids are learning. That going to school and getting a job in their chosen profession isn’t all that easy.
According to Forbes.com
A recent report issued by Burning Glass and the Strada Institute finds that 43% of recent college graduates are underemployed in their first job out of college. Of those, two-thirds are still underemployed after five years, and just over half remain so after ten years.
So what are you supposed to do?
I’d LOVE to know what you have done so far.
Leave a comment and let me know!!! Then, come back and continue on.
Well, there’s only one thing you can do. Start at the beginning.
The beginning looks like this:
Learn how money works and use it to your advantage!
Your Financial Education,
Learning How Money Works
I’m going to state right off the hop. This doesn’t have to be crazy or some big expenditure of time and effort. You don’t have to be Warren Buffet, and if you don’t know who he is- In short, He’s considered one of the greatest investors of our time by a lot of professional investors in the stock market.
You don’t need to know everything about finances and the stock market. It would be a plus but it’s an absolutely HUGE topic.
From stocks to ETF’s to shorts and calls, mutual funds, businesses the list of topics involved in the stock market can be very overwhelming. Good thing this is about being simple and not getting into situations you can’t handle.
What you do need to know is some of the different problems that plague most people trying to get out of debt.
One, most people don’t have good Financial Education.
What you were probably taught in school wasn’t a very good financial education. If your schooling was anything like mine, you learned….. math… that’s about it.
For some people and I mean this in the nicest way possible. Your parent(s) may have not been very good teachers regarding Financial Education either.
Financial patterns are passed on from parents to children all the time. This isn’t a bad thing but some people may be not you, but some, they grow up in poor financial situations and more often than not they tend to repeat those situations throughout their lives.
That being said when your parents raised you it is likely that you ended up in similar financial paths as they did by no fault of your own. There’s nothing wrong with it, you just get to work hard just like your parents.
Which is good, working hard is how you grow and get better.
For myself, in my own life, I was taught at school and home to “go to school, get a job, pay taxes, save as much as you can, invest it and life will be grand.” This is a general statement but it stands true for a lot of people I know as well. We were all taught the same thing at home and at school.
Well? If that’s the way it’s supposed to be why are you in so much debt? It may feel like a lifetime of debt raining down on you. Constantly in the back of your mind. Something that you feel you can’t escape from. There is hope! Don’t get discouraged, fight on.
The light at the end of the tunnel gets closer every day that you work to get out of debt!
Start with square one.
Your Expenses and Liabilities
Your Expenses and Liabilities are more important than your Income alone. The reason for this is because if you have a set amount of money coming in every month, week or year.
You need to have fewer Expenses and Liabilities than Income. It seems obvious but a lot of people don’t realize how much money is going out. If you have more money going out than in, you are going to be in big trouble quick.
So, I want you to take a look at yourself. Go through your accounts. Find out what absolutely everything costs per month. Tally it all up. Write it down or create a spreadsheet.
Creating a spreadsheet is a very good option for this. You can save it and if you want to look back at how far you’ve come (which is awesome for motivation to continue) it’s easy.
After you’ve created your list of EVERYTHING that’s costing you money every month, you can figure out what your average monthly income is. Notice This is AFTER you know your expenses.
The reason I want you to do it after is that people including myself have a tendency to be biased toward ourselves. So by adding up your expenses first, you limit some of your bias to alter numbers in favor of your income.
Add up all of the income you get each month from every source. With any luck, it will be more than all of your expenses and liabilities.
Hopefully, now you can see that at the very least you have enough income to cover all of your Expenses and Liabilities. Good!
It’s time for some financial planning, the key to generating compound investments. What the rich do and most people only try and understand.
Compound investing is going to be the key to getting out of debt and creating wealth at the same time.
But before you can run you have to crawl.
Learn the Difference Between Assets and Liabilities!
Assets and Liabilities make up everything. The trick is figuring out whether you have one or the other or none.
There are a lot of miss-conceptions with what constitutes or should constitute an Asset or Liability.
If you go by the letter of the definition, an Asset is:
“Something that is readily convertible into cash or a cash equivalent.”
Well, that’s all cool but there are a lot of things that are more like liabilities than Assets even though they fit into that definition.
A Liability is “fairly” straight forward.
Liability is something you owe. Be this an amount or something else, such as a favor.
Without getting into an argument with an accountant on the technical assessment of a liability, I’m going to make this simple. Anything that costs you money every month is going to be a liability.
That being said, there are some things that you may think are assets but are in fact, Liabilities.
For example, your house.
Costs add up
Every month you have a Mortgage payment, House insurance, gas, hydro and water all of this is because of your house, your residence. You’ve been told your entire life that your house is an Asset.
Well, it’s not.
Assets are supposed to be good, they should create wealth and income. Your house only costs you money every month. Think about that for a few minutes.
Even people who rent an apartment, you aren’t without the liability. You are still paying for all of the same things, it just might be cheaper.
Your vehicle should have one would be another liability. You will notice that when you had to write down all of your expenses. Your house and vehicle payments were on that list. So why do we think they are Assets?
That’s what you were taught. That’s why.
Your house is an asset to the Bank.
Your Mortgage is what makes it an Asset to the bank. You continually pay them just to be able to have your house. Every time you pay your Mortgage lender through interest and principal payments over YEARS you make them richer not you!
Why is this important? Simple,
Stop buying liabilities!!
Stop buying Liabilities is simply saying:
“Stop purchasing crap you don’t need.”
If you feel you are in a position that you need to get rid of debt because you have too much, then why would you want to buy something that’s going to add another expense or take away from repaying the debt you already owe?
So if you can stop buying Liabilities and your income is enough to cover the cost of all of your Expenses and Liabilities then what?
Consolidate as much Debt as you can and start hitting the highest interest payment first!
Consolidating as much of your debt is one of the best strategies you can have when it comes to paying off debt. Consolidating debt is taking all of your debt and trying to lump as much of it as you can into one payment with a lower interest rate than the original loan.
To explain, if you have 3 credit cards all maxed out at $5000 with an interest rate of 19.9%. Consolidating would be getting a line of credit for $15,000 at 6% and paying off all of the credit cards with the line of credit. This will, in turn, do two MAJOR things.
Your Debt will now be only one minimum payment, making it easier to manage payments every month. (Simplify every process, don’t make things difficult. Ex, one payment is better than 3 payments)
Your interest rate in this scenario went from 19.9% to 6%. That’s a HUGE saving!!!!
So what if your debt isn’t credit cards? Maybe you just want to pay off your house faster and get rid of the Mortgage payment. You can’t consolidate but you can go to your mortgage broker and see if you can get a better interest rate than you currently have.
Side Note: check out 15 things you didn’t know about your mortgage!!!
A lot of times if you find a better rate with a different company, that company will, in turn, pay the fees associated with dropping your current mortgage.
What this means is that the other mortgage lender will save you money TWICE once to pay the fees to get out of the higher interest mortgage and a second part with a lower interest rate.
Something to note as well, a lot of mortgage lenders will allow you to pay up to 5% of the remaining mortgage balance extra per year to shorten your mortgage term. This 5% will go directly onto your principal balance without interest deductions.
Rollover effect of your payments
So now you have your debt consolidated into a few payments at lower interest rates instead of many payments. Which payment should you focus on? If you want to pay off your debt as fast as possible, you need to focus on whichever payment has the highest interest rate first.
So let’s pretend for a minute you couldn’t consolidate all of your credit cards and you are paying 19.9% interest on them and your line of credit is only at 6%. You will want to pay the minimum payment on your line of credit and dump as much money as you can onto the credit card(s).
Focusing on the highest interest payment will work to lower the amount of interest you pay much faster than paying a little bit onto everything.
When you have the highest interest payment taken care of you will take the same amount that you were paying every month and start paying the Next highest interest payment.
So now you will have all the money you were spending on the highest interest and it will be going to the next highest.
Plus, you will have the minimum payments from both helping to boost the principle payment. I’ll use some numbers to better explain.
- $5000 on a Credit Card at 19.9% minimum payment $100
- $10,000 on a Line of Credit at 6% minimum payment $100
- $2000 on a Personal Loan, No interest, minimum payment $50
- Available cash- $800 per month
So, in this scenario, you will be able to put $800 toward paying your debts. First will be the minimum payments of $100, $100 and $50. After paying for those you will have $550 left to pay off debt.
Take all of the available money after the minimum payments ($550) and put it onto the highest interest. In this case, it is the Credit Card.
Every month you will pay down the Credit Card and only put the minimum onto the other loans.
After the credit card is paid off you will then take your monthly payment from the Credit Card and start paying the next highest interest payment, the Line of Credit.
Note: The Roll Over Effect happens here. The $550 as well as the minimum payment ($100) Roll Over onto the next highest interest payment. Making your payment for the Line of Credit a total of $750 with both minimum payments!!
Next after the Line of Credit, you move down the list paying off each bit of debt from highest interest to lowest rolling over your monthly payment and the minimum payments on all of them.
Sweet! So through consolidating and some help from professionals, you will be off to a good start. What now? I did tell you that you would be able to invest at the same time, didn’t I?
This will inevitably bring us to.
Start buying and building assets that generate income!
This is the fun part. This is the part where you get to be you. No banks forcing you to do something. No one peering over your shoulder, breathing down your neck. This is you.
Create additional income!
The problem isn’t that you have debt. The problem is your income isn’t high enough to make a big enough dent fast enough for you to be ok with having the debt. The payment schedule, therefore, is too long.
I don’t want to be old and grey and still paying for my school or mortgage. I’m sure you don’t either.
How do you do it? Well, it’s a lot easier than you may think.
Some things you can start and you won’t even have to leave the couch. No seriously. This will all come down to you and your available time, as well as your ambition to achieve something greater.
There are so many ways that you can make money from home or on the side. A quick Google search will result in a lot of ideas. Let’s start with some of the simplest such as:
Swagbucks rewards members with gift cards for daily activities you may already be doing online. Things like watching videos, shopping or doing surveys.
Answering surveys online
Multiple paid survey sites will reward you for simply answering surveys and questionnaires online.
Get paid to shop with eBates
eBates is a cashback platform for its members. eBates is now called Rakuten and will give cash back for purchasing products through their platform. The best part you purchase the products at a discount.
The list goes on and on. There are so many ways to create additional income on the side, it all comes down to how much time and effort you are willing to put into it. Some of the more involved ways but more lucrative ways to make extra money are;
Create a blog
Some bloggers are making 6 figures with a blog on the side. This is a more involved way to have a side hustle though. There will be a bigger time commitment for all of these.
Selling thrift store products online
Going to thrift stores, buying discounted products and selling them online has made a lot of people a good amount of money on the side. The more you buy and sell the more you make.
Becoming a tutor can be a great way to make a little extra money. If you’re a professional at something you can advertise yourself and start making money by helping people in your area(s) of expertise.
Child care before and after school
A lot of people are working before school starts as well as after school ends. There are time gaps that can be filled for a lot of people needing their kids to get to school on time or until they get home from work. They may have to work at 6 AM or work until 5 when school is don’t at 3. You can watch their children for a few hours a day and make a little extra.
Use your Imagination
Use your imagination to find a way to make some extra cash every month. It doesn’t have to be a big amount of money either. Don’t feel that the only way this is going to work is if you make thousands of dollars extra a month. That’s not the case at all.
If you make a few dollars here and there and use those dollars properly it will result in a big win for you in the long run. After all, this is about long term investing as well as paying off debt at the same time.
So if by using some of these “side hustle” ideas you start to create some income. How do you go about investing?
A lot of people use investment brokers. These professionals are there to help you with all of your investments. It is a good idea to go and talk to a professional, not just about investments but also about the best strategy for your consolidation of debt.
Compound Investing is investing in areas that are going to generate additional income that can then be used to purchase another income-generating asset.
Cash flow is KING!
When it comes to Compound investing, Cash Flow is the name of the game. Buying assets that are going to appreciate in value is good but, buying assets that are going to appreciate as well and provide a cash flow are the best.
You can then take the cash generated through dividends or sales and buy more assets that are cash flow positive. Thereby creating a SELF PROPELLED CASH FLOW MACHINE!!!
For a great in-depth look at Compound Investing check out my comprehensive explanation!
There are so many ways to invest. If you are starting out and aren’t very familiar with the many avenues that can start to generate cash flow talk with your adviser and come up with a good plan for generating cash flow.
Remember Cash Flow is King!!!! Cash flow will create more cash flow and more cash flow creates even more. The cycle doesn’t end so long as you focus on good cash flowing investments.
Don’t forget to like and share this post! Help out everyone you know. Sometimes you don’t know who is struggling with debt and could use a hand.
finding the way to financial freedom through setting proper goals.
Being in debt isn’t a bad thing. Not doing anything about it is a bad thing.