10 steps to be debt free in your 40’s. Most people start to take care of their finances in their 40s. For those who need to straighten their finances and be debt-free, this is when they try to correct the wrongs in their finances and prepare for their old days and better days.
However, for most people, 40 is when they find themselves surrounded by debts, be it good debts, such as mortgages or bad debts, credit cards used to buy liabilities.
If you aim to be debt-free in your 40s, it might be challenging but perfectly doable if you apply discipline and determination. Moreover, some simple steps can help you achieve this feat.
This article provides 10 ways to be debt-free in your 40s.
1# KNOW YOUR DEBTS
To start, you must know precisely how much you own, meaning a clear idea of your debts, the exact amounts, and the interest charged.
So, inventory all your debts, such as a mortgage, personal loans, and credit cards….and these you owe to family and friends.
2# CREATE A REPAYMENT PLAN
After inventorying your debt, the next step is to create a plan. A plan that involves how and how much you will repay your debt. It should be a realistic repayment plan based on your affordability.
A plan that you must commit to follow. In your plan, you must prioritise high-interest debts, such as credit card debts. But you should still keep up with repaying others’ debts, paying the minimum payment.
In your plan, you must write the strategy or strategies you will adopt, such as negotiating lower interest rates with your creditors, refinancing your loans to get lower interest rates using any windfall to pay off, or creating new sources of income to increase your repayment.
Moreover, prioritising repaying debts over savings is an excellent idea, speeding up the debt-free process.
3# CONSIDER USING BALANCE TRANSFER AND/OR DEBT CONSOLIDATION
Investigating balance transfer options is a great way to reduce high interest and will buy you more time. You can look for transfer credit cards with low or 0% introductory interest rates. Transferring high-interest debts into low or 0% interest rates can save you money on repayment.
If you have various debts, you can consider consolidation. This is another form of debt refinancing in which you obtain a loan to pay off all your debts, and then you can pay this loan over time.
So, it is the process of consolidating many debts into one with usually a lower interest rate. This simplifies your repayment process and may reduce your overall expenses.
4# CREATE A BUDGET
Creating a budget is vitally important. You must know your budget’s inputs, outputs, and necessary expenses.
So, allocate a portion of your income towards your debt repayment. It is advised to do it automatically. Doing so will ensure you remember to pay and also avoid temptations.
Moreover, budget effectively. You can draw your own simple budget plan or use one of the templates available.
5# AUTOMATE SAVINGS
Automating your debt repayment will keep you on track. This will benefit you by helping you keep up with deadlines and due dates, helping you avoid late fees.
Usually, automatic payments are not set in stone; you can change the amounts when you wish. Moreover, you can also make one-off payments from time to speed up the repayment.
6# CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE
So, if you wish to be debt-free in your 40s, you will have to downsize your lifestyle and live below your means. You must cut off anything you cannot afford with your income, be it housing, transportation, social events, friends, etc.
This is a crucial point; if you don’t do it, you may fall into debt even if you manage to get off it. So, resist taking on new debts while trying to be free.
7# CUT UNNECESSARY EXPENSES
10 steps to be debt free in your 40’s. Another central point in getting debt-free is to cut unnecessary expenses. This relates to strictly sticking to only paying for your needs, not your wants. Your needs include essential expenses such as mortgage/rent, water and electricity bills, food, etc.
Usually, the wants are the ones that get us into trouble by overspending what we do not have.
So cut your expenses you know you can live without to free some cash you will use towards the debt repayment.
8# CREATE OTHER SOURCES OF INCOMES
So, seek ways to increase your income. This can include anything from selling old or unwanted items on eBay and other platforms, unused or unwanted items, or creating an entire business.
Doing so will certainly increase your income, allowing you to increase your repayment, ultimately leading to paying off your debts faster.
9# BE FINANCIALLY LITERATE
10 steps to be debt free in your 40’s. It is vitally important to be financially literate. So, make it a priority to educate yourself on personal finance. You can do that by taking classes, reading financial books, following economic trends, making it a habit to listen to financial news, knowing how to read a balance sheet, etc.
And if you still cannot work it out and manage your debts, you can get a financial professional who can give you helpful and valuable advice and guide you through the whole process.
10# STICK TO THE PLAN
10 steps to be debt free in your 40’s include sticking to your created plan is the most critical part of these steps. You must stay motivated, committed and consistent to see any positive results.
It would help to always have in mind your end goal. So, be accountable for yourself by sticking to your resolution and your plan. Doing so is a way of showing up for yourself and a sure way to be debt-free. So be steady, as this is usually a long process.
However, it is crucial to go at a comfortable pace; do not force or deny yourself too much. Otherwise, you will give up halfway and return to your old ways.
10 steps to be debt-free in your 40s include:
. Knowing your debts,
. Creating a repayment plan,
. Considering using balance transfer and/or debt consolidation,
. Creating a budget,
. Automating savings,
. Changing your lifestyle,
. Cutting unnecessary expenses,
. Creating other sources of income,
. Being financially literate,
. Sticking to the plan.
Following these steps will undoubtedly put you on your way to being debt-free. Do you have any suggestions? Please share in the comment section.