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You’ve all seen plenty of debt in your time, whether you’re struggling with credit cards, lines of credit, upside down car payments or a house that isn’t gaining any value but rather losing it, all of which comprises the constant struggle for you to save money and have financially sound futures waiting in the wings.
As debt continues to amass, saving money becomes even more difficult as one paycheck turns to another but most of your earnings is put toward those credit card and debt related bills, some worse than others.
The debt on your credit card often can’t be tied to something tangible like a car loan or home mortgage, even if you promise the creditors that you used your Visa for a new furnace. The debt that is credit card related or that can’t be dubbed as typical haunts the masses to the point that they’re looking for just about any way to pay it off as quickly as possible.
What happens, however, is you get bogged down on a budget that won’t allow you to spend more than the minimum payment and your $10,000 in debt means you’ll be paying on it for way too long and that aforementioned ends up doubling or tripling by the time you pay it off, which could take years.
So how exactly do you get this debt paid off faster?
The trick to paying it off is confronting it rather than just resigning yourself to the fact that you’ll always have it. That minimum payment being paid is a good thing and won’t hurt your credit score, but those who want to really put a dent in their debt tend to take debt on right away and look at it from a planning stage rather than a “it will be paid off when I get to it” type mentality.
Debt consolidation tends to be viewed as a negative for a number of reasons, when in actuality it can expedite the process of getting your debt paid. The downside is the monthly payment might be a little higher, but it often trains you to tighten your budget and cut your time in half when it comes to paying off debt.
Consolidating your debt can be done in a number of ways but the best tends to be working with a third party company. The move isn’t going to hurt your credit but rather is viewed by creditors as a lateral move. You may need to explain this payment when it comes to buying a house, but that can be soothed with a simple letter.
Obviously, if you can’t afford a higher payment through the debt consolidation company, it might not be quite as feasible but force yourself to look at that higher payment to get not only your credit paid off faster but reshape your budget for the better.
Everyone says they have a budget, which certainly means that you’re at least trying to save money and spend less. The question remains, however, isn’t so much how good is your budget but are you actually sticking with it the way you planned?
The point of having a budget is implementing it in a way so you can stick to it, plan accordingly and ultimately save money and pad your finances for whatever reason you’re thinking of this week: savings account, nest egg, financial future and retirement.
What tends to happen, however, is budgeting becomes more about saying you have one and less about actual execution. Budgeting is like joining a gym; just because you did one, doesn’t necessarily translate into the other.
Joining a gym doesn’t mean you’re going to go, much the same way having a budget doesn’t mean you’re going to stick with that, either.
So how exactly can you train your brain to stay on course as it relates to your budget and not falling off course?
If you’re overlooking your spending habits, that’s a first sign indicator that you really haven’t fully grasped the idea of a budget. Yes, we know you have your bills and the larger debt that you have to account for on a daily basis. That being said, when was the last time you put putting gas in your car, meals eaten out in restaurants, coffee and clothing on your budget as being worthwhile to track?
Those items and others of that ilk tend to get lost behind car payments, house mortgages, rent on that townhouse or apartment and your cable and phone bills. You have to make sure you’ve planned to add to that budget to include things you spend money on daily, since those add up quickly into thousands spent yearly and you wondering aloud why you aren’t able to save with the budget as it stands.
You also want to look closely at your budget at it pertains to credit cards, specifically how much you’re paying on them. If you’re only paying the minimum payment, you might want to rethink your repayment options. The minimum payment can suffice if your goal is ultimately to build more into your savings account and you have a fixed payment in mind. That minimum might be part of your budget if that’s all you can afford, but checking your budget to increase the minimum means less high interest paid over time, but also the ability decrease overall debt faster.
Budgeting bites the dust typically when you don’t account for all facets of it, or take money saving as being too topical and typical than it really is. The more specific you can make your budget, along with adhering to it, the better chance you have of success.