One thing we have plenty of now is debt it spiraled out of control with the house renovations sadly, but we do have plans in place to pay it off as quickly as possible. We have a complicated spreadsheet to keep a close eye on our incomings and outgoings and any spare cash is immediately allocated to paying off debt.
We are being firmer with ourselves and spending a lot less on non-essentials so we can dedicate more funds to clearing the debt as quickly as possible. Living within our means might not be particularly exciting, we are trying not to splash out on new purchases, making what we have last, taking what help we can from friends and family (in the way of second hand clothes and toys) and even scouring the charity shops first when we need something. Spending less means we can commit more money to reducing debt. The quicker we pay it back the less interest charges we will have paid in the long run.
Additionally we have moved credit card provider to take advantage of an extended interest free period, anything to try and minimize the additional interest we are paying. I noticed TSB have 0% for 28 months with one of their balance transfer deals, which seems quite generous. Then when you make repayments at least they are actually bringing the debt down not just going towards the interest!
We also make a point of shopping around to free up more money, we use every voucher code we can find, look out for sales, head to price comparison sites to see if what we need is available to buy cheaper elsewhere. Basically any possible method to get more value for our money, the less we spend out the more we can dedicate to our debt repayment plan.
I found prioritizing which debt is paid first has been helpful; we focused on the one with the highest interest rate (as long as you have no penalty for overpaying this seems the most sensible solution!). Any extra funds are immediately targeted that way. If your finding it hard to free up additional funds try banning the use of cards, instead have a weekly cash allowance and stick to it!
If circumstances are particularly dire see what lifestyle adjustments you can make, do you have any memberships you can cancel (walk more and knock the gym on the head!) or could you have a smaller car or house. If you are determined to get out of debt, you will find the motivation to make changes.
It will be such a wonderful feeling when we finally clear the heavy burden of debt. It’s very stressful and causes tension between hubbie and myself but I am glad we are doing everything in our power to get the debt under control and starting to see some progress.