If you are worried about getting into debt, then you should take a good look at your finances and come up with a budget that will allow you to live within your means. It will be even better if you can find a way to put by some savings as this will ensure you have an emergency fund to use instead of being forced to go into debt if you suddenly find yourself in need of a bulk sum for repair work, a new car or medical bills.
You should begin by making lists of your outgoings and income. Make sure you allow for all of your outgoings. It can be easy to overlook less frequent payments or ones that seem small individually but which can add up to a substantial amount.
Once you know how much you are spending and earning, you should make sure that the amounts balance. If you are spending too much, then you need to find some way of cutting your costs or of earning some extra money. You may want to change your shopping habits by buying less or shopping in more affordable stores, get a car that uses up less gas or take on some overtime at work, for example. If you find it difficult to keep track of what you are spending when you use a debit card then make sure you use cash instead.
Some of your expenses will vary from month to month, and you should set a limit on how much you will spend on these. If you spend less than this limit, you can add the remainder to your savings account.
Having some savings set aside will be a huge help if you are trying to stay out of debt. Rather than relying on borrowed money to cover bills that arrive before payday or to help yourself out of an emergency, you can use your own money. You should invest your money in a savings account in order to earn a good rate of interest. If you build up a large amount of savings, then you can look at some riskier, but potentially higher earning investments, but remember that you should always have a secure, easily accessible lump sum saved up which you can use when you need it.
If you are going to stay out of debt, you will need to make sure that you have the right attitude towards money. You must not be tempted to buy what you cannot afford. You must not be tricked by offers of credit cards, store cards and other borrowed money that will end up costing you a lot more than you may expect. You should concentrate on saving rather than spending your money. The only safe way to borrow is to borrow from your own savings. When you need some extra money, take it out of your savings, and then make sure that you pay it back and build up your savings again.
Being in debt is a situation that, although prevalent in our society, can be very stressful. If you have credit problems, it is so easy to fall into depression, listen to the guy who claims to perform miracles in wiping out debt, or declare bankruptcy.
It does not have to be that way at all. There are options available that you can consider that will not entail giving up or falling prey to scoundrels in suits.
Today, we live in an economy that thrives on credit. You can buy anything on credit now. The problem arises when we are unprepared to face the consequences of impulsive purchases or loans.
So, assuming you are in a credit slump. Why not consider bartering? This is a trade transaction as old as time. You have something that someone else may want, and vice versa. Another term would be swapping. There are no hard and fast rules in bartering except being able to deal fairly. One way to barter would be direct exchange. Another option would be trading with cash if your item costs more than the item of the other guy.
Bartering is a trade negotiation, so you have to be willing to adjust your selling price if you want to close the deal. This means that to protect your interest, research on what the going rate is for your item, when it is brand new and as a used item. Next, make sure your item is in fairly good condition, or if it is not, make sure the buyer knows what he is getting and indicate that you are disposing of your item on an “as is” basis.
Marketing your items for barter can be done in print ads, flyers, or on the Internet. If you plan to trade over the Internet, be very careful who you are dealing with. There are plenty of unscrupulous people out there and it is very hard to go after them in case of a botched transaction.
Suppose you have searched your house and have found nothing you want to let go of, why not market your services? Can you write or type? Do you enjoy chatting? If you have a reliable Internet service, you could search for part time jobs.
On the other hand, if you do not have access to Internet 24/7, consider your hobbies or interests. You could be handy with tools, knowledgeable about cars or machines, or excellent in baking.
There are many choices, if you look hard enough. At the same time, you should work on decreasing your expenses; negotiate with your creditors for lower interest rates and lower monthly payments.