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Top 5 Ways to Avoid the Debt Monster

If you’ve served in the military, you have done a wonderful service to the country. However, unfortunately, you might not have made as much money as if you were a corporate executive. That’s ok – there are plenty of ways you can earn more money and also avoid debt. Read on for the top 5 ways you can make sure you and your family stay out of debt.

Have the right Mentality if you already have Debt

If you are already in debt, you can work to get out of it. Do not harp on the past and what is already done, and focus on the future. You can work out of debt by paying the high-interest debt off first and working with creditors to set up payment plans. Prioritize any debts you have, working off that high-interest debt. Consider opening a credit card that offers 0% interest on transfers, and getting that debt paid before the time period ends.

Follow a Budget

Many people do not understand where their money goes. Sure, you know how much your income is, but do you know how much you are spending? Take a month and track every expense you have. How much were your necessities like groceries and rent? How much did you spend on entertainment like video games or traveling? Once you establish your budget, you can work to eliminate unnecessary spending, at least until you have regained your financial health.

Spend Cash

If you need to, cut up those credit cards. While credit cards offering rewards and points can be tempting, they are only a good thing if you are paying off your bill every single month. If you need to get back on track, allow yourself to only spend in cash, that way you cannot possibly spend money you do not have.

Downsize

Consider downsizing. Maybe you are living in a bigger home or apartment than you need, and thus paying more money than you need. The same with your vehicle – do you really need the supersized SUV? The downside for a few months or a year, or take on a roommate, and find ways to decrease expenses wherever you can.

Take Advantage of Savings

If you are coming out of the military, chances are you might be eligible for a host of VA benefits, possibly including free education or healthcare. Work with the VA office, so you can learn all of the financial benefits and discounts available to you as someone who served in the military. If one company offers you a 10% discount for the same product available at a store with no discount, that 10% of sales can add up to a lot of saved money over time. If you have debt, take a deep breath. You can recover. Focus on cutting expenses where you can and paying off high-interest debt first. Talk to a credit counselor or even your banks to inquire about lower interest rates. Many companies look favorably at veterans and might offer you discounts for your service.

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