There is no question that it is much tougher for women to clear their debt than for men to do the same. Not only do women start on unequal footing due to the consistent and nonsensical wage gap, but other challenges need to be surmounted before debt can begin to be resolved.
Overall, women are far less likely to be investing, less likely to consider their finances in good or excellent shape, and more likely to have significant debt. Since equality and equity in the financial space need a solid foundation of financial literacy, we’ve put together this list of the top ways that millennial women can kill their debt.
Determine What Debts To Clear First
Pull your credit report from the major bureaus, and take inventory of all the debt you carry and who you owe it to. Once you have a full list of your outstanding financial commitments, use a debt snowball calculator to figure out what order you should pay things in. Generally speaking, you’ll want to move from the smallest debt to the largest, but some variables like high interest rates can affect that decision.
Closely Watch Your Expenses
Too many times, people focus too closely on paying off old debts that they accidentally create new ones. Avoid this at all costs. Watch your expenses and bills closely during your debt resolution so that you can maintain on-time payments.
This is the perfect time to trim superfluous expenses as well. Gym memberships are expensive and you can often work out at home for a few months to save a bit extra. Then, after meeting a debt goal, join again guilt-free.
Be sure you aren’t depriving yourself of enjoyment and leisure, though. Make sure that throughout the process of killing your debt that you keep some money budgeted for decompression and leisure time.
Stick To The Plan
When you have a plan of what debts to pay when, know what your payment schedule looks like, and even potentially have an end date to be debt-free, stick to the plan. Even in the face of unexpected situations or expenses, don’t lose sight of your goal.
If your progress one week is not where you want it, try to make up the difference in the next payment or before. If this isn’t possible, just stay motivated, life happens.
If you find yourself in an extremely tight spot and need to abandon the plan for a pay cycle or two, don’t lose heart. It is common for debt resolution to be stressful and even overwhelming at times, but make sure you are keeping an appropriate perspective for the process.
If you are paying down thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in debt, you are taking on a monumental task, and that’s something to be proud of. A hiccup or hurdle here or there is to be expected, don’t let it kill your motivation and soon enough you’ll be able to join the ranks of debt-free millennial women.