Keep that image of the debt-free you at the forefront of your mind when things get tough on your debt repayment journey.

5 Steps to Conquer Your Debt

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onquering your debt is a bit like cleaning your windows. You put it off, but when you finally take action – you’ll see a far clearer, beautiful view.

So we’ve put together this list of a few simple steps that can usher you well on your way to being financially fit…with a beautiful landscape ahead of you.

Step 1: Monitor Your Spending

Monitoring your spending probably sounds like a hassle. After all, ignorance is bliss, right? However, the more you know about how you spend, the easier you can identify the triggers that got you into any debt in the first place.

Analyzing your spending habits may be easier than you think. You can use one of the many free finance apps available on the market to track spending on the fly. Personal Capital and Mint are among the most popular.

Step 2: Know what you owe

You can’t get out of debt without knowing exactly what you owe, so add it up! Sure, it might surprise you when you actually know the number, but it’s a necessary first step. And it actually may not be as much as you think.

Step 3: Always have an emergency fund

One of the more common ways people add to their debt is to be unprepared for an emergency. Life is full of unexpected expenses

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whether it’s a flat tire or a broken nose. If you always have at least $1,000 in an emergency fund, you can take care of most unexpected expenses without taking on high-interest debt to pay for it.

Step 4: Consolidate aND COMMUNICATE

Another smart idea is to consolidate your high-interest debt into a personal loan. With a personal loan, you can combine several higher rate debts into one loan with a fixed interest rate. This helps you to save money long-term and brings multiple payments down to one.

If you already have outstanding loans you’re having trouble managing, you can call lenders to understand your options.

Step 5: Stay Motivated

Remember, paying off debt takes discipline. There may be times when you mess up, when you spend too much, or when you go over budget; that’s human, and it’s totally okay. The most important thing you can do in those situations is to stay motivated and remember the end goal, which is managing your debt within a budget you can handle.

Remember, conquering your debt will enable you to start saving for some of your bigger dreams. So keep that image of the debt-free you at the forefront of your mind as you set out on your debt-repayment journey.

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By Catherine Alford

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