Many people want to pay off their debt quickly and efficiently and yet most people end up making payments on debt for their entire lives. Well, there is a reason why this happens. The debt systems that are in place are designed to make lenders money and to make money lenders need consumers who are willing to pay off their debt with added interest. So, already consumers are at a disadvantage.
Luckily, there are some practical budgeting tips that can help us all keep things on track.
Practical Budgeting Tips
1. It is important that you have a budget. This can be very complex or very simple and basically compares earning against anticipated expenses. If you can allot money for various items, such as groceries or gas, you can control how much you are spending on purchases we don’t often measure. That way you can avoid spending money when it is not needed and you will end up with cash in your pocket. Plus, you will need to develop good spending habits.
2. Balance transfers can be a good thing. Transferring high-interest debt on to low-interest credit cards or lines of credit can lower your monthly payments and save you money, leaving you extra money to pay against your debt. There are some pitfalls to be aware of though.
- Once their credit cards are empty, many people will continue to charge on the new card and increase their debt load even more
- Only transfer your balance if you can control your spending on the new card; you should avoid increasing your debt load
3. Check your credit report regularly. You are entitled to one free copy each year from each credit bureau and this can help you keep your credit report free of any errors or inaccuracies.
4. Another good habit to start is talking to your creditors. As convenient as avoidance sounds, it’s not a good idea. They can help you negotiate a lower interest rate or extend the loan so that you can pay them back.
5. If you use store cards, pay them off each month. Often the discount associated with the cards is less than the interest you’ll pay if you maintain a balance.
6. Consider creating an emergency fund for you and your family. That way all of your money won’t be tied up in bill payments and debt and if something unexpected happens, you won’t have to charge it to credit. You can start with as little as $10 a month.
7. Pay with cash as often as possible. It is more tangible than credit or debit cards and you will be aware of how much you are spending.
8. Avoid making late payments as often as possible. Late payments can affect your credit rating and you can also be charged by your credits with extra interest or a flat fee.
9. Determine how much extra money you can afford to contribute to your debt. It will be paid of much quicker and save you thousands of dollars. Never make the minimum payments.
Note: For a Brazilian, who wants to visit Portugal, or other European countries, opening an account (abrir conta em portugal) at Millennium BCP bank can be a great deal.
If you follow these simple budgeting tips, your finances will be organized in no time.