When you are going on a journey, you will need a roadmap. Every construction site needs a blueprint plan. Every jigsaw puzzle requires a picture source to guide you through the process of putting the puzzle together. It is the same when you want to pay off your debt. You need a financial plan, one that will help you to reduce your debt year by year. You don’t wake up one day and see your debt immediately gone – in thin air. It just does not work that way. Everyone who has paid off their debt had to do so with a plan. Below are some things to help you to get on track to be able to effectively pay off your debt.


 Owning It

The first step is to accept that you are the one that assumed this debt, even if the fact becomes too overwhelming. You have to own the part that you played in all of this. Of course, if there is medical debt, you will be unable to avoid this, but for the most part, people get into debt by spending more than they make, without any idea of how they plan to pay it off.


 Identifying Emotions

Identify your impulsive emotions that trigger your overspending. You may have to seek professional counseling to get to the underlying reasons why you choose to spend more than you have. In many cases, it is the underlying issue that propels you into your reckless spending and getting into debt. Sometimes, we are too impatience to wait for the right time to make a major purchase and so many people go ahead and do it anyway. At times, some people rack up debt to impress friends, family and neighbors. It may be time to get to the bottom of this.


 Creating a Budget

You should always have a household budget and stick to it. Whether you want to believe it or not, a budget is like a blueprint. It sets the boundaries on your finances. It helps to forecast your financial future when you have a budget. To create a budget, document your income and then your expenses. If your expenses are more than your income, it is time to do a reduction exercise.


 Reduction Exercise

Cut out things that are not really necessary. These could be:

·       Evaluating your flexible expenses to see which one should go

·       Taking lunch (leftovers) to work instead of eating out (try this for a month and see how much you saved).

·       Going to movies less than you are doing now or not at all

·       Avoid going to the mall so you don’t have the impulse to shop

·       Create products from scratch at home such as jams and juice

·       Avoid making any major purchases for at least six months

·       Pay attention to price when you go to the grocery store

·       Cut coupons to get discounts when you shop

·       Don’t shop brand names. Go for the generic products instead

When you have done this reduction exercise, it should free up some money that you will put in your emergency fund and use the rest to pay off your debt. Start building that fund, even if you have to use a piggy bank to save coins. Take the first step and the rest will follow, but try to be disciplined and determined to pay off your debt.