Watch the weather change and see how people react. It’s uncanny. When the weather is grim, mood dips accordingly (and who can blame us, whether traveling to work on a tightly packed train or bus, or in a car on rain-soaked roads, we all arrive at work a little disheveled and in need of a big red ‘back to bed’ button). There’s only one thing for it in times like these. Retail therapy. And boy, don’t we just love to go a little bit overboard on the ‘I need cheering up’ purchases when we’ve got wet socks from the seemingly never-ending downpour. However, summer isn’t far away, and as always, when it arrives, we all want to race off on holiday and buy a new summer wardrobe (and maybe even splash out on a soft-top convertible with a built-in stereo that can be heard from the moon? – just saying, we’ve all been there). But that’s not so easy when we’re lumbered with debt. Let’s look at ways to reduce debt to free up some summer cash (use the budget calculator from Creditfix for faster results).
0% balance transfers
An obvious place to start, perhaps, but nevertheless a good place to start. When you’re in debt, you’re a cash cow. Credit card customers fall into two categories. The first is customers who call their credit providers to close their accounts and are thanked for their custom thus far and told to come back if ever they require further services. The second group – the much larger group – are customers who face being passed to the “retention team” when they try to quit. This is the group that struggles to pay its bills, meaning late payments, more debt, and more money for the provider in the long run. A client who pays their debts is no good. Retaining clients who get into a spiral of owing more and more money is the key to successful lending business. So. Beat them at their own game. Move your debt to a 0% interest offer from a competitor. This rate may only be offered for a period of a few months – but that’s when you move again. Avoid interest fees and save today.
Pay debt off faster
Once you have switched as many of your bills to 0% interest rates as possible, you’ll still need to pay them off as soon as possible. Try selling any unwanted household items via social media marketplaces. Perhaps withdraw from any retirement funds or other savings accounts to clear your debt faster. Whatever you do, refrain from taking out new loans to pay old loans.
And finally, a curveball – drink more water
This isn’t exactly a way to reduce debt as much as it is a way to reduce unnecessary daily expenditure. Replace expensive fizzy drinks with water. Replace any alcoholic beverages with water. Replace any hot drinks at work with water. Try this for one week and see the savings – not to mention the health benefits.