Sat Feb 2, 2013, 2:00 am | 2 Comments
Statistics tell us many folks follow new year resolution for a month or two and then they quit following it. They never follow it to completion for the year and beyond. If you are in debt and can’t manage it, you must create a plan how to reduce debt.
Resolutions are made to be broken. You need to have extreme discipline and have to be organized well enough to follow them through. Most people just give up and put their resolutions up on the shelf never to be looked at again.
However, resolution or no resolution, one of the more important concerns in your financial life is to reduce debt or eliminate it altogether in order to live better financially.
Once you pay off your debt, you will have extra money to invest because investing may be the only way to grow your savings for the future.
Reduce and eliminate debt
The most pressing debt comes from using credit card recklessly.
You must have very specific means in mind to pay off your debt. Your way of reducing and eliminating debt must be action- and resulted-oriented. Set goals to reduce debt in the new year.
Regardless of your source of income, set up an automatic procedure with the help of your Human Resources (HR) to make direct deposit to your checking account. Set up an automatic procedure with the help of your bank to transfer a certain percentage of your checking to your saving account.
Leave enough in your checking to cover all your bills and your personal expenses.
Set up online bill payment in your bank. With today’s interest rate for checking account, make it maintenance free in that you will not pay for online bill payment.
Next, set up an investment strategy – to grow your money – with your bank so each month a certain amount will be invested. You may use Dollar Cost Averaging when investing.
Cash-in your credit card rewards
First off, never use your credit card strictly for cash rewards. Do shopping as usual for what you really need and the rewards will keep piling up. Never overspend because of the rewards though.
Refinance your mortgage
Refinancing will lower your monthly payment. However, you must be careful to calculate all expenses including points, attorney’s fee and other expenses. Follow the APR the refinance institution gives out and not the raw interest rate. It’s against the law for the banks to not advertise the APR of the loan.
Revisit your 401(k) settings
401(k) and other retirement venues will save you big in the long run, not only for retirement but it will reduce the amount of federal tax you pay. Increase your contribution to 401(k) till the maximum is reached.
In a Nutshell
These are five smart ways to live better financially. Follow them and you will be on your way to have a satisfied life in your personal finances.
- Feb 14, 2013: Homepage