When it comes to financial advice there is so much information out there it’ll make your head spin. Some great and some so bad I find myself yelling at the computer screen or TV. Everyone wants to be an investor, everyone wants to talk about stocks and diversified portfolios when it comes to financial advice. This type of advice comes in all shapes and sizes and it may not fit everyones needs according to your financial situation.
For example, if you make 40K a year and have $5,000 worth of credit card debt, you may not be seeking investing advice or what to do with your 401k, you may want to know how to pay off debt. Only problem is people don’t want to talk about debt, it’s problematic, it makes people face the truth about their spending. People want to know what stocks to pick so they can make a quick buck, in their mind they’ll play the stock market like a slot machine and then pay off all their debts.
Be truthful with yourself, what do you want to do with your money? What kind of advice are you looking for? If you’re seeking any type of financial advice the best place to start is with debts, not the stock market, not high interest savings account, but your debt. You’re debt is burning a hole in your wallet every single month and you don’t realize it. If you’re carrying any type of credit card debt your most likely making the minimum monthly payment. Lets say you have 3 credit cards with a limit of 1000 dollars each and all 3 are close to being maxed out. With the ridiculous interest and the minimum monthly payment you’ll be paying off those credit cards well into your retirement. Pay off your credit cards, that money you’ll save every month will free up opportunities to learn about investing, and then you can talk about the stocks and diversified portfolios all you want.
If you’re wondering how to pay off your debts heres a simple little formula, nothing hard, no magic, just a simple little formula to speed up the process of paying off debts.
Sticking to the amount used above lets say you have 3 credit cards with a 700 dollar balance on each, totaling 2100 dollars in total debt. Assuming you pay the minimum of about 35 a month you’re paying 105 a month, 1,260 dollars a year. The average interest on a credit card is about 18%, after one year assuming you didn’t use your credit cards, you’ll barely have made a dent in your debt.
Pick one credit card, I advise choosing the one with the highest balance. Then instead of paying the minimum amount, add about 20 bucks to that amount, so instead of 35 now you’re paying 55. Start paying attention to your credit card statements and see how much of a difference it makes after just a few months. If you’re comfortable, add another 20 to that amount, now you’re paying 75 bucks a month, see how significant of a difference that makes on your statement. Every month you’ll increase your minimum balance by 20 bucks and your credit card balance will begin decreasing. Before you know it, you have 1 credit card paid off, repeat for the others. But keep in mind do not stop paying the minimum amount on the other credit cards while you’re paying off one.
Before you know it, you’ll be debt free.