Being in debt can be a huge hole that can take years to climb your way out of. If you’re currently working on a mountain of debt, keep your eyes on the prize and take it one paycheck at a time. There are some less-obvious obstacles you may encounter on your way though, so keep an eye out for these mistakes you may be making while paying down your debts.
You don’t expect the unexpected: When you’re trying to pay down debt, you may be tempted to push your budget to the limit along the way. While it’s great to be more frugal, never forget that unexpected expenses can come out of nowhere. Your car may be great today, but tomorrow your transmission might call it quits. If your emergency fund isn’t in great shape, make sure you’re setting aside a little extra cash each month for any necessary expenses that might pop up.
You keep living the good life: It’s nice to have a budget that allows you to treat yourself every now and again, but if you’re serious about paying down your debt, you may need to take a closer look at your budget and reassess. You may need to cut back on the entertainment section of your budget, but you can still find ways to keep yourself entertained and save money.
You treat the symptoms, not the cause: It’s good to start throwing money at your debt, but sometimes it can be a little like bailing water out of a sinking boat. You’re on your way, your debt is decreasing a little each month, and then suddenly you find a reason to justify a purchase on your credit card that puts you back to where you were 3 months ago. If credit cards are the cause of your debt, you need to either cut them up or put them away until you’re ready to begin a new, healthy relationship with them.
You’re not on the same page with your spouse: It’s a great feeling when you’ve got the drive and determination to pay down your debt. But if your significant other isn’t on the same page, you may find yourself in that same “sinking boat” scenario. When you’ve reached a decision to tackle your debt, make sure you’re communicating with your spouse about your spending habits so that you can be in attack mode together.