Updated: Jan 7
When the New Year rolls around, a lot of us get focused on our finances. Most people either want to pay down debt, save more, improve their credit, make more money, or all of the above! Here are a few things for you to think about as you get ready for the new year.
Should I save first or start paying down debt?
Save at least $1,000-$2,000 first, then pay down debt.
Step 1: Before doing anything know exactly where you are – what do you own and what do you owe.
Step 2: Track your spending for 30 days
Step 3: Create a budget you will actually use
What's the best way to pay off debt?
Whether you have only a few bills or more than you can count, this is the best way to pay off debt:
No new debt/stop using credit cards
Pick the bill you want to pay off first (maybe the one with the smallest balance)
Pay all bills on time and pay extra towards that 1 bill until you pay it off
How can I make saving easier?
Whether you have a job or are self-employed, this is how you can make saving easier:
Make it automatic
Separate yourself from your money – open a savings account at a different bank where you have limited access
Know why your saving
Save for yourself before you save for your children
What's the best way to improve your credit score?
Pay your bills on time every month
Pay down debt
Talk creditors before you're late making payments
If people are really struggling with debt and managing their credit, where can they get help?
www.NFCC.org, National Foundation for Credit Counseling
How can I tell if a credit repair/debt management company is legit?
Avoid companies that ask you to pay a large up-front fee
Avoid companies that offer to removed legit negative activity on your credit report
Check online for company reviews and with your state’s commerce department to see if the company you’re considering is licensed
What advice do you have for people who want to make more money.
Give each source of income a "job". If you have 2 sources of income maybe you use one to pay your bills and one to save?