How To Conquer A Mountain Of Debts

Hiking up successfully to a mountain of debts is a difficult task to anyone but, it is doable. All you need to get started is the application of money management skills.

The first step is to take a hard look at your cash flow. It is important to track where your money is going through observing the previous months’ bank statements and receipts. If an expense category is not necessary then, reduce or eliminate it from your budget. This includes magazine or newspaper subscriptions, cable television bundles, postpaid plans, gym memberships, and so on. Doing so will force you to come out of your comfort zone and live by your needs.

Instead of frequenting the gym, you can visit the nearby parks freely to have a recharging jog. You may also view the publications and reading materials available at the library at no cost. Read more books about personal finance to supplement your journey.

Now, we move on to a type of debt that most Singaporeans fall for – the credit card debt. There were more than 101,000 delinquent debtors in 2015 alone. Not to mention, the largest accumulation of debt last year was a whopping $1,552,000!

Its pervasive nature gave rise to the importance of controlling our credit card habits. Begin by collating all your credit card statements. List down your current balances and corresponding interest rates. Put these in order by starting with the greatest interest rate and down with the least interest rate. Pay of the debts with the highest interest rates first as it will be the most beneficial move in the long run.

Create a realistic budget that incorporates what you discovered about your cash flow and your debts. Stick with this budget! When all these are said and done, it is important to maintain healthy financial habits. Keep yourself motivated by setting financial goals. Sharing your progress to the significant people in your life can encourage you even more. You may also make an illustrated board (e.g., filled with pictures of your dream house or vacation) to visualize your goals.

Image Credits:

Image Credits:

The road ahead may seem impossible at the moment. So, you better hang in there!


Why You’re Still In Debt After All This Time


Reason: Credit card is a highly convenient tool for payment; however, it can also be a very costly method for loaning money. If your paycheck is insufficient and you are using cards to cover your necessities such as weekly groceries or electricity bills, you will be put in debt for a long time.

Solution: You must think of ways to raise your income and savings including getting a part-time job, renting a cheaper room, and reducing your daily expenses.


Reason: If you are spending lavishly in order to keep up with your ideal self, you can be quickly put in bankruptcy if you are not careful. In the outside you are seen as someone very successful because of your flashy BMW ride and your new huge flat. But little do others know that you have leased your BMW and rented some rooms of your flat.

Solution: Vanity and boastfulness is only for rich people. Live within your means.


Reason: Studies have shown that debt is associated with various mental illnesses including depression. When you are depressed, you have a difficulty with paying the bills and you are more likely to feel down because of your inability to manage it. The reality of the situation is also clear to you.

Solution: Your harsh realistic view of the world can lead you astray. So divide your total debt into smaller pieces and set several goals to pay them off.


Reason: Banks love it when clients only pay for the minimum balance. Making the lowest possible payment leads to more interest and time spent in debt. It can become more unmanageable if your balance continues to grow while your income stays the same.

Solution: Pay more than the minimum requirement each month to cut your payoff time and interest.


Reason: Many people rely on credit to cover the overwhelming costs of the holidays especially the Christmas-New Year season. This leads to starting the upcoming year off with a mount of debt. You better hide your plastic cards during those tempting seasons!

Solution: What you need during the holidays is support. You can either stay away from people who have a tendency to overspend or seek help from the credit experts at Credit Counselling Singapore.

Image Credits:

Image Credits:

Sources: 1, 2, 3, & 4


Reduce Your Debts Dramatically With The Debt Diet

Ellie Kay once said: “Getting out of debt is like going on a diet — it may sound simple, but it sure isn’t easy.”

Debt takes a toll on your relationships, your family, and your future. Just as being obese leads to physical and emotional challenges, debt has its own negative consequences too.

Inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s Debt Diet, three financial experts namely: David Bach, Jean Chatzky, and Glinda Bridgforth were sent to help several families to solve their monetary dilemmas. They shared debt elimination tips and suggested practical ways for people to increase their income and reduce their spending.

Before anything else, here are the “signs” that you need to go to participate in the Debt Diet:

1. You depend on your credit card to pay for your living expenses.

2. You rely on overtime pay to make monthly expenses meet.

3. You utilize your credit card/s to pay for items that you used to pay for in cash (e.g., groceries or clothing).

4. You use your emergency savings to pay for your bills.

5. You borrow money from your family and friends to pay your bills.

6. You delay paying one bill in order to pay an overdue one.

7. You utilize credit card A to pay bills for credit card B.

8. You can only pay the minimum amount due on your accounts.

If most of the “signs” point to YES, you may employ the following steps of the Debt Diet:

1. Determine how much debt you have and what it is costing you.

2. Monitor your spending and look for ways to make extra money (e.g., by giving up certain expenses).

3. By understanding how credit cards work, use your credit card/s to your advantage.

4. Stop spending on unnecessary things.

5. Make a strategic monthly spending plan.

6. Determine ways to increase your income and identify the steps you need to achieve it.

7. Prioritize your debts.

8. Do your best to know yourself and your spending behaviors.

Image Credits: (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Sources: 1 & 2


Newbie’s Guide To The Dynamics Of Debt And Credit


Before anything else, we must define two terms: debt and credit. Debt is the amount borrowed by one party (e.g., corporations or individuals) from another (e.g., banks). While Credit is the lawful agreement in which a borrower receives something of value today and agrees to repay later on in the future, usually with interest. Simply, when you use your credit card, you create debt. Debt here is the result from your ability to borrow – from your credit.

Now that you know the definitions and the differences between these two terms, you must discover the pros and cons of using credit as well as the 3 C’s of worthiness. All these are according to the Credit Bureau Singapore. Credit Bureau Singapore was set up in lined with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s vision to enhance the public’s risk management abilities.

Image Credits: (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: (License: CC0 Public Domain)


The pros and cons of using credit or credit card are plain and straightforward.


Being able to buy what you need right away

Not having to carry cash

Automatic record of purchases

More convenient than cheques


Interest especially for items of higher cost

Have additional fees

Financial difficulties may arise

Elevation in impulse purchases may occur

Image Credits: (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: (License: CC0 Public Domain)


Before swimming in a pile of credit, know if you are worthy to take the plunge by asking yourself a set of questions.

1. Character (Are you the type of person who will repay his or her debt?)

Does your credit history show that you are honest and reliable in paying debts?

Do you pay bills on time? Do you have a good credit score/report?

Can you provide a couple of character references?

How long have you been at your present occupation?

How long have you lived at your present home?

2. Capacity (Are you able to repay the debt?)

Is your job income enough to support your credit usage?

Is your job stable and steady?

How much is your salary?

How many loan payments do you have in total?

What are your current debts?

How many people are dependent on you?

3. Capital (Do you have back-up if you cannot repay the debt?)

Do you have a savings account?

Do you have various investments to use as a collateral?

Can you enumerate the properties that you own to help secure loans?

What other valuable assets do you have that could be used to repay debts?

It is essential to know all these to assess whether you are truly fit to apply for a credit card or loan. Furthermore, you may use the information to guide you in your responsibilities as a borrower. 🙂

Sources: 1 , 2 & 3


Marriage With Credit: ‘Till Debt Do We Part?

Whether you like it or not, along with your marital vows comes the union of your finances. Your partner’s financial habits can either boost or ruin your financial future especially if he or she has a pile of debt. One’s credit history can affect several facets of your life such as loan eligibility, loan rates, and job applications. This is why it is important to openly discuss about your credit history and to plan your future finances together.

Here are some steps you may take…


To prevent unforeseen monetary issues, understand each other’s view by explicitly discussing your differences on financial issues. For example, if your partner is a saver then, he or she may view money as an important currency that shall not be wasted.

Then, for honesty’s sake, show a copy of each other’s credit report. Know what your debt and income are actually worth so that you can realistically plan on how to pay for the remaining debt. Your partner’s lack of credit history will reflect on your credit score if you combine accounts.


Gone are the days when Mindfulness is practiced solely for meditation. You heard that right! Actively paying attention to the present situation can affect your finances. As you are aware of what is happening in the present, you can make better decisions about money no matter how important it is. For instance, you will keep your credit score healthy because you are aware of the billing schedules. Also, having a present mind will allow you to be vigilant in checking whether the statement breakdown (e.g., phone bill’s data usage) is accurate.


It takes no genius to conclude that overusing your credit card will jumpstart your credit. So, if you cannot say farewell to the plastic card, you might as well limit your usage. As much as possible, keep your usage to a minimum, 25% below your credit limit is a good start. Then, pay off the balance monthly. Examine your progress together as you end the month.

Related Article: How A Couple Paid S$36K Worth of Debt In Just 6 Months

Image Credits: Gareth Williams via Flickr with Creative Commons License

Image Credits: Gareth Williams via Flickr with Creative Commons License

May these simple steps pave way for a happy and credit-free marriage! 🙂

Sources: 1 & 2