Also read the following related article by Business Editor Kabous le Roux:
If you have no extra cash and crushing debt problems, then how do you get out of this situation to prosper in the future?
It’s hard enough getting out of debt in a booming economy; how on earth do we get out of debt when even wealthy people are penny pinching?
You have two choices.
The first is what most people do. They live frugally and miserably until the economy starts to perk up again (this could take a while!) and then they do something about their debt. Year after year their annual increases go towards serving their debt. They live and work to pay off some financial mistakes that they made.
Does this sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be this way, but the second choice is much harder and many people prefer not to make it. Some people are forced into the situation when they are sequestrated. Even though this is highly embarrassing, and inconvenient, many people have felt relieved that the great debt weight has been removed from their shoulders. They literally have to start from scratch again, but they have learnt some valuable lessons and not many people are sequestrated more than once!
You have guessed it — the second choice is to drastically alter your lifestyle. It does not necessarily mean selling everything off as in a voluntary sequestration. This is one of the options though. You could also embark on a journey to earn more money to pay off the debt quicker. Both of these options take courage, commitment and hard work.
Here is a great quote to help you to make the choice:
"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that." — Norman Vincent Peale
I have found that the way in which people get themselves out of debt is unique to each person. Some prefer to cut back on expenses, some prefer to earn more and some incorporate a combination of both. It’s important to figure out which route you will be most comfortable with.
Once you have decided which way will work the best for you, then you need to set out a strategy of how to begin the new direction and eventually become debt free.
As I’ve already said, each strategy will be unique to you and if you can’t think of a strategy you should consult with a financial coach.
Article continues on page two: examples of possible actions in a debt reduction strategy...