If you’re one of the millions of people engrossed in debt, it may seem like financial freedom is a distant dream. The number of individuals living with debt in the UK has grown exponentially. In part, this is because of rising living expenses and unchanging wages. Based on a recent study, one in three Britons is in debt. That equates to £1.424 trillion in outstanding personal debt, this year alone. Although these statistics may sound menacing, it is possible to reduce and even eliminate your debt. To prove that it’s possible, here are four average people who won their fight with debt.
Carrie Smith’s financial wake-up call occurred the instant she acknowledged her situation. At 28, she found herself with a staggering £9,300 in credit card debt. Eager to regain control of her finances and financial future, she managed to pay it all off in a year through hard work and strict budgeting. Carrie’s approach was to start with the cards which carried the highest interest rates. Most people immediately tackle the cards with the highest balance, but it’s wiser to evaluate the interest rate fees on a monthly and annual basis because that’s where you’ll be hit the hardest. To stay on track Carrie even made a timeline of her progress using a payment tool. And of course, she had to cut her frivolous spending– holidays, salon visits, cable, and dining out. The spending cuts were temporary, but the results enduring long past that year, Carrie points out.
Armed with a Master’s degree and a mountain of student loans to accompany it, Shari was unsure how she would repay the £20,000 she owed. She admits that at first she was in debt denial. When bills arrived, she barely paid the minimums. She soon realised that this approach was making no real headway so she broke down the balances into more manageable amounts and created a strict budget. In time, she was promoted at work and started looking for side jobs to make some extra money. It wasn’t easy, but Shari paid off her debt and now advises others on how to do the same.
Grayson Bell had dreams of owning his own business with his wife Jane. To bring his dreams to fruition, Grayson financed £33,000 with four different credit cards. When the economy took a turn for the worse, Grayson’s business unfortunately went under, leaving him with no substantial cash flow. As the debts piled up, Grayson continued to spend in hopes that the business would eventually recover. Two years later, his finances were still in ruin so he made the conscious decision to seek help. Grayson opted for debt consolidation as a way to fast track his financial recovery. Consolidated Credit provided him with the tools necessary to create a budget, lower his balances, and pay off his cards. Today he’s proud to be debt free and on the road to building a new business.
Maxed out and looking for a way out, Kate was in over her head by age 25. With very little in her bank account and bills pouring in month after month she did what most people dread—moved back in with her parents. Within a matter of month, she eliminated all the shopping trips, weekend getaways, and drinks with friends. After 6 months, she saved enough money to pay off her cards in full. Kate’s advice to people suffering from debt is to ask for help sooner rather than later.
Whether you have to create a budget, cut your spending habits, or seek debt consolidation it’s important to get a handle on your debt. It won’t resolve itself so it’s your responsibility to do your part in management and elimination.