5 Tips for Staying Debt Free
Many Americans are burdened by the level of debt they carry and canít seem to find a way out. This article provides 5 tips on how to get out and stay out of debt, including how to develop a plan and stick to it and how to begin to save.
The first tip for staying debt free is budgeting. You should have a set budget every month for spending and where you will spend your money. Most families do not have a budget so they do not know where they spend their money. By using a budget, you will be able to curb any bad spending habits that may start and you can save money every month. A budget is your financial map so that you can remain debt free. Without budgeting, none of the other tips mentioned in this article will be as effective.
The second tip is to develop a plan to pay down debt. The average household in America has roughly over eight thousand dollars in credit card debt. Most households only make the minimum payment. If you owe debt, think about ways to pay it down quickly. You can use your budget to identify where you can cut spending in some areas to redirect monies towards your debt. Pay above the minimum payment and start first with your highest interest rate debt and work backwards.
The third tip is to start saving every month. If you lose your job right now, it is likely you will not find one immediately due to the state of the economy. Save at least eight monthsí worth of living expenses. This will help you to not have to rely on credit cards if your source of income is eliminated. This can help save you money if you do end up losing your job because you will not rely on your credit cards.†
The fourth tip is to use bonuses or other money you were not expecting as retirement savings or to pay down debt. You can use some money to have fun but paying down debt will allow you to save interest you would have had to pay and you can be debt free in a quicker time period.
The fifth tip is related to your car. Have you paid off your car? If you have, congratulations! If not, pay it off. Once your car is paid off, set aside a car payment every month in your savings account. Depending upon how long your car lasts after you pay it off, the money that you saved from setting aside the monthly car payment can translate into a substantial down payment or paying for the whole car in cash. This will save you money by reducing or eliminating the amount of interest that you have to pay on a future car loan.
These five tips will help to save you money and remain debt free. Budgeting has to be the first key. Without a solid budget, you cannot be as financial savvy and responsible as you would like to be so you can stay debt free. A great side benefit is that people who are debt free report being happier and in more control because their finances are not controlling them.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kwame Kuadey is a gift card expert and runs a popular gift blog at http://blog.giftcardrescue.com/. Kwame is CEO & Founder of http://www.GiftCardRescue.com, an online marketplace where visitors can buy and sell unused gift cards. Kwame is currently working on http://www.ghanatravelpage.com