How To Help Family Burdened By Debt

I hate debt.

Over the almost 7 years of our marriage, we’ve paid off a lot of debt. We’ve incurred a little bit more…and paid it off, too. When our financial advisor looks at our setup, he thinks we’re looking pretty durn good – but I HATE even a little bit of a balance left on a credit card. Drives me NUTS. Makes me feel stressed out and nervous. So anytime we end up with more money than we thought we had, I’m always down for paying off something else! 

In the US, the total household debt accumulated by families currently amounts to somewhere over the $13 trillion mark. With this in mind, it’s not unlikely that you know someone suffering from the consequences of debt, made only worse by rising costs of living, and a generally fickle economy. If a family member or dear friend is struggling under the weight of debt, it’s time to strategize. Help distance your loved ones from the anxiety of endless payment plans with the following tips:

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Eliminate Bad Spending Habits

Spending habits are the easiest things to tackle. By cutting costs at every possible opportunity, you can not only avoid adding more debt to your name, but you can eventually start to accumulate enough money to pay off your debt sooner than expected. And it adds up quickly! We’re always surprised when we start looking for expenses we can eliminate!

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Use a Budget

A budget can help you find each and every spending habit that may be threatening your finances. Indeed, if you’ve the time and resources, help your family organize a spreadsheet which details expenses and income. Don’t worry if you’ve never tallied a budget before. There are award-winning money management apps like Mint, Pennies, and You Need A Budget (YNAB) that simplify what seems like an insurmountable task to the novice. (The one my husband uses for our finances is called “Personal Capital”.)

Brainstorm Savings Plans

Once you outline every transaction, you’ll see which part of their budget that is the most detrimental. Let’s say, for example, they’re paying an in exorbitant amount on groceries every week. You’ll want to focus on how they can bring this bill down. By showing them the ins and outs of shopping cheap – that is, buy groceries in bulk, making use of rewards programs onapps, and cutting down on meat – they’ll be able to significantly take a chunk out of their grocery bill. The money they save can go towards outstanding dues.

Get Quick Assistance

As they’re slowly paying down debts and maybe even contributing to a savings account, their finances will be tied up. They’ll have little of it to spare on things they haven’t budgeted for. Unfortunately, life is full of the unexpected. Someone might hit their side mirror when parking next to them. Their cat might swallow an elastic band and need immediate vet care. Or maybe they just receive several roaming charges on their smartphone.

If they need help covering these unavoidable costs, an online direct lender like MoneyKey can help. They offer small dollar loans with a short turn around that are easy, fast, and convenient to secure. In some cases, they transfer funds within a single business day after approval, making them much speedier than traditional financial services that are often slow and tedious to secure. You can see how they work as a responsible alternative to these products by browsing the services at Moneykey.com/installment-loans-online.php. In creating a simple, hassle-free borrowing experience, direct lenders share rates, terms, and conditions with transparency, so you’ll find it easy to see if their fast-acting installment loans work for your family’s situation.

Supplement Income

If, however, they need a loan for regular, expected expenses like rent, your family needs to think about adding to their income rather than subtracting from their expenses. If you have connections within your own company or that of a friend’s, the most beneficial thing you could do for a close relative is to refer them to a new job. Whether or not they are able to take on the extra workload is up to them, no doubt, but surely the extra flow of cash will be welcomed.

In any case, testing out these techniques can help your family own up to their finances and maybe, help them feel motivated to become debt-free.

Have you experienced debt in your family? Have you been able to pay it off? Any tips to offer?

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

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