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According to the Forbes article ” Should Financial Advice Cost 1%?” Americans are spending $233 billion a year to have $15 trillion of investment money professionally managed. What if you could avoid these fees with some simple financial advice?
Well, you can. In fact, back in 2014 University of Chicago Professor Harold Pollack wrote down the basics on a 3 by 5 card. Here they are:
Few people realize just how much of an impedance debt is to moving forward in life. Not only does being in debt create stress and barriers, it sometimes seems like a downward-spiraling tunnel that just keeps getting deeper and deeper. How do you get out it?
If you’ve got several outstanding bills, then debt consolidation just may be the solution that works for you. Having all of your bills in single place, where you can take care of them with just one monthly payment at an agreeable rate of interest, is a confirmed stress-reliever for many people. Online sites such as consolidate.loan are comprehensive sources for those looking for debt-resolution options. In the following, you’ll see how many people in your situation are extracting themselves from the debt-spiral.
First and Foremost: Suspend Borrowing
This is the primary reason why debt is so hard to get out of – you have to stop using your credit cards. If you haven’t used the available balance so much so that your minimum payment has risen above the lowest possible amount, then you can keep using the card up until then. But no matter what – remember, you have to pay this back, too.
You need to dial down on the expenses of your lifestyle to only what you can afford to pay directly. This means buying food with your debit card or just cash, and doing the same when you go shopping. There is no game plan for debt-reduction that doesn’t include suspension of debt-utilization.
Start Saving Money for Emergencies
This one takes into account the common use of credit cards for emergencies. Although, of course, you should use your card if you have no other alternatives, this represents a big hit on your reduction plans. By steadily saving actual money from your paycheck and placing it into a separate bank account – many online accounts these days allow you to create sub-accounts – you have something to fall back on for the unavoidable.
The beauty of this part, in particular, is the availability of numerous apps that tally and automate this process. You enter the initial details, which consist of all your sources of income and the expenses you manage. It makes the goal of debt reduction real in your mind, and provides you with a mechanism by which to track your progress in real-time.
The surplus amount of cash you have after accounting for income and expenses can be used to pay your debt down steadily. If you’re in a deficit, then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to reduce your debt appreciably. You will need to increase the number of hours worked, or get a new, higher-paying job. Reducing your expenses also has a similar effect; the point is that you need to turn your deficit into a surplus if you hope to pay off your credit cards.
Some options could be becoming an Uber or Lyft driver in your off-time, and using whatever extra money you pick up to pay off your bills. You’d be surprised how quickly it will add up. There are plenty of these kinds of jobs available; and, when the income you pick up is coupled with cancellation of creature comforts (how often do you really watch the $50 per month of cable you purchase?), you’ll find it much easier to hit the deadlines you set in your debt reduction app.
Map Out Your Debt
This just means separating your debt into manageable sections. You want to get rid of the high-interest debt first, of course, since it represents the single greatest impediment to hacking away at the principal. Another method is arranging it from greatest to least – irrespective of interest rate. Either one works; it really just depends on which you prefer. You’ll build up steam and find it easier to pay off as you go along.
Once your debt is manageable, don’t stop – keep paying it until it disappears. You’ll see just how many prospects open up once you’re no longer being dragged down by interest rate payments.
Most of us know the harrowing statistics about credit card debt. The average Canadian owes over $22,000 in non-mortgage debt, and much of that debt is credit cards.
Most people can comfortably pay off less than $10,000 in debt, if the moneylenders give them enough time to do so. That’s often a very big “if.” Credit card debt above $10,000 is almost impossible to retire without making extreme sacrifices, and that is a difficult thing to do when so much money simply goes to interest payments.
It is almost impossible to consolidate credit card debt on a piecemeal, individual basis. For one thing, most people do not have several hours to sit on hold or participate in an endless email thread; for another thing, there is no guarantee that the person you are speaking with has the authority to reduce payments or interest rates.
On the other hand, when a debt consolidation specialist reaches out to a moneylender, good things happen. A trained debt counsellor knows what to say and how to say it, typically because a debt consolidation firm has a pre-existing relationship with most moneylenders that’s been successful in the past. Moreover, when a debt consolidator represents several families, the results are even better. These results often include:
Reduced interest rate,
Waived late fees, and
A hold on adverse action, like collections calls and even civil lawsuits.
As a result, the debt is paid off faster because more money goes to principal reduction each month and there is much less debt-related stress.
There’s more. Teaming up with a debt consolidation specialist gives you access to professional credit and budget counselling, which helps you understand why these obligations grew so much in the first place. Since it empowers you with healthy money management habits, debt consolidation sets you up for future success.
Better Than the Alternatives
Regardless of what you do or do not do, the credit card bills are not going away. And debt consolidation is a much better alternative than some other approaches.
Paying full price and full term is simply not smart money management. It’s very important to teach your children to be good stewards of their money, and the best way to do that is to set a positive example. Debt consolidation is a great opportunity to do just that.
Bankruptcy usually is not a very good alternative for credit card debt either. This avenue is really best for people who have issues with mortgage debt and other secured debts, because the possible adverse action (namely foreclosure) is so much worse. Using bankruptcy to deal with credit card debt is not quite like using a flamethrower to kill a housefly, but it is rather close. Bankruptcy also does nothing to restore your credit rating, and paying off credit card debts usually has the opposite effect, even with a debt consolidation loan.
The longer you delay this decision, the more interest you pay, so make the call to a debt consolidation specialist straightaway.