Debt is often a necessary evil. Whether it’s helping you pay for college, buy a car, a home or even pay for unexpected setbacks like car issues or even medical emergencies, debt is sometimes unavoidable. In fact, according to Experian, the average credit card balance hovers right around $6,000. Research has even linked high amounts a debt to anxiety, depression and the use of antidepressant drugs. Being under the umbrella of debt feels like you will never be able to look beyond the clouds to the clear sky above, which is why it is so important to find a way out. Here are some ways to do just that.
1. Evaluate all expenses (budget)
The first step in getting out of debt is finding more money. And a great way to do that is to evaluate all your expenses to see where your money is going. You can do this by tracking all your expenses on a spreadsheet, categorizing things into sections like bills, food and entertainment to see where you can cut back. There are also apps like Mint or YNAB that will help you do this. Mint, for instance, lets you link to your bank accounts, then categorizes spending habits, and gives updates that allow you to see a real-time how you are spending your money. YNAB (You Need A Budget) also links to your credit cards and bank accounts, taking a bit of a proactive approach by letting you know what money you have, and encouraging you to assign a “job” to every dollar in your account.