Over the last 20 years Australians have been sliding deeper and deeper into a black hole of unsecured consumer debt. It has been a worrying trend, but one the banks have been happy to let us embrace.
A report in 2019 showed that there were close to 2,000,000 Aussies who were living under a cloud of debt that was so bad, they could not pay their Credit Card bill in full at the end of each month because they were out of their depth financially.
But then just when we thought it could not get any worse, 2020 gave us the 'Covid19 cloud' to really shake things up. Corona Virus threw governments, employees and business owners into financial chaos. Yes, it could get worse!
BUT, as you've probably heard many times, every cloud has a silver lining! In the case of Covid19, the silver lining has been that people have had a wake-up-call as to why it pays to put money aside for a rainy day and why carrying debt is not a great strategy.
With Aussies now on average carrying 20% less consumer debt it is clear that the Covid19 silver lining is the reality that financial restraint has returned. So, now the question is; how to keep this trend going after Corona Virus has been brought under control?
Here are some tips to help YOU continue to get out of debt and stay out of debt once you have achieved that...
1. We have all now learnt that we can live without the weekly retail shopping centre visit. A vacuum has been created in that space. To stop the retail therapy habit returning, it must be replaced with something new. Recognising that the best things in life are free, schedule family fun events on the weekend and other times when you previously would have been shopping. Throwing a ball in the park, walking the dog, swimming in the local swimming hole; these are all perfect example of life-enriching activities that could replace shopping trips at no cost, or low cost.
2. Now you have paid off 20% of your consumer debt you are feeling really good about yourself and your financial progress! Rightfully so! BUT, do NOT fall into a false sense of security. Keep reminding yourself that Pain feels so good after Agony! Remember that Freedom feels so much better than Pain!
3. Freeze your Credit Cards in a glass of water or even better still, cut them up! That takes away the need for self-discipline.
4. Automate your debt reduction payments so they happen on payday without you having to even lift a finger.
5. Decide what your big reward will be for totally smashing your entire debt, and then choose smaller, but still exciting rewards you will give yourself for every milestone you reach, e.g. for every $1,000 debt you pay off, maybe reward yourself with the following month's debt repayment money (or half of it) so you can splurge a little as a reward. Put a photo of your next reward on your refrigerator door so you see it every time you are in the kitchen.
6. Talk to a Spending Planner to find out how a Spending Plan can help you to break your bad habits and get your finances on track so that you can reach your goals faster for a more secure future -https://spendingplanning.com/find-a-spending-planner
These are simple tips, but they will help you to keep the momentum created by Covid19 in 2020. It is heaps harder to get out of debt than it is to create wealth so get excited for your amazing new future as your debt comes down!