|When all else fails, find creative ways to increase your income and get out of debt|
So, you’ve done all you can to cut back on your expenses for the month, but you still barely make it with your money. This could be because you are over indebted and you need to see a debt counsellor for help, as they help consumers get back on track by restructuring their debt and ensuring that they pay back their loans. The debt counsellor is not there to police you: on the contrary, you pay them to place strict guidelines on your finances because getting out of debt is the best you can do in this case. However, we will be placed under several restrictions during debt review.
The debt counsellor will draw up a budget for your current living necessities, but when you are over indebted you will have to learn to live without the expenses that are more of a luxury. This is a sacrifice many struggle to make. The other problem some people face is that they still over spend, but now they cannot get a loan during debt review. This can lead to them approaching unscrupulous credit providers, borrowing from friends or family or selling their possessions for less than their worth to put food on the table: the very thing they tried to avoid in the first place. It’s not only over spending that can cause this dilemma, but also emergencies that mean unforeseen expenses.
What do you do now? There is a solution: instead of spending less, which has proved impossible at this point, you have to earn more. This might sound impossible, but it is not. Even though the South African economy is struggling, businesses still hire temporary staff for weekends or freelance workers to work when the permanent staff cannot. These employees tend to come and go on a regular basis and you and other family members can look to find an extra weekend or part-time job. Tell yourself that this is not a permanent arrangement: you are simply doing everything you can to make ends meet and to work towards paying back your debt. There is no shame in hard work.
Granted, this can be very taxing if you already work more than five days a week or you have a very demanding and stressful job. Another option is getting a raise. James Clear gives tips to earning more money by working towards a raise. His main message is that your raise will not come simply by asking for one: you have to prove that you are an asset to your company and that you deserve more reimbursement because you are more valuable than the other employees. This will mean stepping up and taking on more responsibilities, making note of the ways in which you have contributed measurably to the company’s success and asking your boss for suggestions on furthering your career.
Another alternative is using the skills and tools that you have to start your own business. Some business owners have managed to build their fortune by starting out with almost no capital and just using what they know. You will also find that people are more willing to help you if it doesn’t cost them anything, such as asking friends to advertise your business to their friends and so on. Research how successful people worked themselves up, about opportunities in your field and become motivated to see a gap in a market that you can fill. Beware of investing any money in a small business in the beginning: losing money is the last thing you want to do. Instead, devote time to seeing it through.
And while you are doing all of this, look for a higher paying job. Search engines like Indeed.com make job searching easier than you might think. Do not hesitate to apply to all the positions you qualify for. It costs you nothing to email your CV and you can get lucky and start earning more. The other option is getting a job that is less draining of your time and energy so you can work on other ways to make money as well. Getting out of debt is not easy, but the harder you try, the faster you will be free from your financial burdens and the less likely you will be to fall in the trap again.