With the New Year just around the corner, a lot of people are busy making those annual goals and resolutions. And for many improving their finances is at the top of the list.
Getting out of debt can be a big and almost overwhelming goal. It’s not a fast process and it takes a lot of dedication, but it is worth it in the end!
So where do you begin?
First start by getting an accurate picture of where you stand. Gather up all of your recent debt statements. This includes credit cards, car loans, student loans, any personal loans or other big ticket items, and your mortgage.
Run your credit report. You can request a free copy ever year at www.annualcreditreport.com from all three credit bureaus. This is a great time to check for any mistakes and make sure that every debt on your credit report is included in your list.
Make a debt payoff plan. Create a spreadsheet with all of your debt information. Include the name of the debt, total balance, interest rate, and minimum payment.
Now figure out what order you want to attack your debt. Some organize them from lowest to highest balance, while others prefer to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first.
Whatever you decide here’s the trick. Once you payoff your first debt, combine that payment with the second debt. Now you’re paying a lot more then the minimum and it just keeps growing as you go!
Look for ways to keep throwing money at your payoff. Sell unused items around the house, have a yard sale, clip coupons, or get a part-time job. Just do whatever it takes to keep your momentum up!
Get the whole family involved. Make getting out of debt a family goal! Put your payoff on the fridge and count down. Let the kids help with the family budget. When everyone understands what you’re working toward, they’ll be more likely to cooperate when the budget is tight.
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