3 Ways To Get Your Debt Under Control This Year
-By Peter Ellis
2015 taught me that days come and days go, but worries around debt and money issues do not.
In Australia it seems we are able to talk to strangers about everything from what they had for breakfast to how much fun they had on the weekend, but when it comes to financial struggles and small business debt we hide it away like that pile of clothes you just can’t seem to put away.
We keep it all inside and “hidden away from the world”.
My question is WHY?
When you feel unwell you go to the Doctor.
When you are having relationship issues you talk to your friends and family.
But when you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat or are constantly stressed over debt and money you just plod along thinking nothing is going to change or that it cannot be fixed.
Year 2016 will see me on a mission to help to “Demystify Debt” and make it ok for people to open up and talk about debt.
This may be to family, friends, Financial Counsellors, anyone.
So here are my 3 Tips To Get Your Debt Under Control for 2016 to assist the public to stay out of or reduce their debts.
- Get Better Deals – Start by reviewing your current financial situation and try to get better deals on things like utility bills, insurances, phone plans, credit cards, pay TV plans. You would be surprised how much money you can save by doing this. You can even leverage your existing providers to then give a better offer. And then you can start using that saved money to tackle your debt. Start by ringing around the companies you pay money to on a regular basis and ask for a better deal. People may focus on refinancing their mortgage to reduce it a few interest rate points and may save for example $30 Per Month (after they have paid off the switching costs), yet will happily keep paying unnecessary monthly bank transaction fees or pay for services they don’t use such as Gym Membership without battering an eyelid.
- Review All Your Transactions – It may sound tedious, but have someone sit down with you or do it yourself to go through every transaction on your bank statements for the last 12 months. Start by seeing exactly where your money has gone and eliminate any unnecessary costs, or items you could get a better deal on. Case in point is that a few years ago I did the exact exercise for one of my clients. A couple with no kids earning $100,000 Per Annum NETT who used their debit card for all purchases. They came to me as they couldn’t save or work out where their money was going. I found that after taking into consideration all transactions for purchases on their statements they could not account for $24,000! It had been used as cash out for living, alcohol, food, etc. That is almost $500pw the equivalent to their mortgage payment each week gone without any true knowledge of it being spent.
- Get Real & Start reading the fine print – In 2016, it’s time to get real and start seeing through the offers from financial institutions to reduce your interest. Being a business too, they are looking to make money from you in the long run so it’s essential to start reading the fine print. Rarely do financial institutions help you reduce your outgoings or costs unless they see a benefit for them in doing so. Be serious in understanding that a financial institutions role is to make money from you, not to save you money. Many things can be disguised as “saving you money”, but please read the fine print to make sure it is in YOUR best interests and not someone else’s.
We hope our tips will help you make a real start on your small business debt in 2016.
Once you start to tackle the fundamentals of debt reduction you can start to get strategic about planning your business profits. Advanced Accounts uses the strategic management accounting practices that help businesses ensure they have the right structures and compliance to start planning their business profits for growth and abundance.
Book an obligation free financial strategy session with founder, Catherine McMurtrie, today and start eliminating debt and planning your business profits.
About the Author – Peter Ellis, Fast Debt Help
Peter Ellis is a Debt Specialist. Experienced in helping individuals and small businesses deal with all areas of debt especially what they cannot currently afford, Peter and his team work hard to ease the pressures that being in debt brings. Peter also works with like-minded brokers & companies from around Australia introducing solutions, education and advice on all things related to managing debt.