Make Wise Decisions About Your Money
With so many people out of a job and unable to find a quick replacement, have you given any thought to where your finances would be should this happen to you? It doesn't hurt to start thinking about what you should be doing now to avoid being overloaded in debt.
One of the first things you need to do is keep a record of where you money is going. If you have a budget, review it. Make a list of what you're spending you money on–even how much do you spend at your favorite bakery, coffee shop, or on magazines. Although these seem trivial, they can amount to more than you think, and, do you really need them?
Even if you pay your bills on time, set up an auto-payment plan. This will keep you from that "oops" moment when you realize you missed that bill that fell on the floor under the desk. You can still keep an eye on your bank records to see how much money you have left for other items. It doesn't hurt to add a little extra on credit card payments once and a while to get those balances down faster on high-interest cards. You can call your credit card company and ask them to lower your interest because some of them will comply with your request. If they refuse, check with other companies about transferring your balance, but make sure you review their policy for possible transfer fees. If you have student loans to take care of, it's best to work on deleting credit card first and once you card debt is down, return to using that extra money to pay off that student loan.
Savings is another thing to take into account. If at all possible, transfer 10% of your discretionary income to your savings account. Even small amounts are beneficial to start building your savings fo remergencies.
Make sure you review your budget long and hard before buying that dream home. Mortgage rates may seem appealing, but there are a lot of couples today that are finding themselves in an impossible situation trying to make payments that they thought would be easy when they made their purchase.
New cars are always nice to drive around in, but a clean trustworthy used car can still get you where you're going. Remember, that new car loses a lot of value once it leaves the lot, but you're still making payments on the total purchase price.
If you have the chance to work a little overtime, considerhow that extra money will come in handy. It may keep you from seeing that favorite TV program you love, but it will make a payment on that widescreen you like to view. It will also add extra money to your Social Security funds, which may seem bad idea now, but when you retire, those extra funds will look good on that monthly check.
Take the time of use some of these suggestions and you can find yourself out of debt faster than you think if you put them to use.
Downloadable PDF files included