Going into 2020, it’s possible you had a bit of a nest egg set aside for a rainy day. Now that the rain has been falling since March, that savings is not only gone for most people, but the amount of debt has grown. That said, 2021 is a new year with hopes of a vaccine for COVID-19, and it’s time to plan for the road ahead.
You need to find your way out of debt and put your money in places where it will grow instead of paying large amounts of interest to credit card companies. To do that, you need to look at where you are financially today and where you would like to be going forward.
Look At Your Current Financial State
If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to make one. You can create a simple spreadsheet with your income amounts at the top and your monthly expenses underneath. Once you input all your numbers, take your income, and subtract your expenses to ensure they equal zero. If the difference is zero, that shows you make enough money to cover your bills, but that doesn’t leave any room to put your money to work. Basically, what you have there is money flowing in and the exact amount flowing out to bills.
What you want to do is create a gap between your income and expenses so that you have free money you can use to steadily grow through investing.
Make Adjustments Where Necessary
To build that gap, you have three choices: increase your income, decrease your expenses, or do both. Increasing your income could be as simple as picking up an additional job, improving your qualifications for a promotion, or entering a new field. But during 2020, increasing your income may not be as easy as it would be in other years. Because of that, it might be better to decrease your expenses or eliminate some of them entirely.
Look through each bill and decide if you really need that item at the moment. If you do, see if you can lower your bill by calling the corresponding company and asking for a lower monthly payment. Also, you could contact your bank and explore refinancing to decrease your monthly payment and take advantage of the lower interest rates right now.
If you hold credit card debt, you could call them to ask for a lower monthly payment, but unless they give you a freeze on accruing interest, a lower monthly payment will keep you in debt longer. So, instead of keeping the same credit card bills and making monthly payments or trying to decrease that line item in your budget, consider debt consolidation.
Consolidate and Eliminate
Debt consolidation is when you take your eligible credit card debt and roll it into a single personal loan. Johnson Funding can look at your outstanding balances and offer you a loan that will give you one interest rate and one payment to make each month.
Even though a debt consolidation loan won’t eliminate your debt right away, you’ll make one payment on the debt instead of multiple minimum ones, which will free up cash for investing. A financial advisor can help you choose the best investments for your goals and help you make the most of your extra money.
It’s important to note that you want to diversify your investments, so they spread out over multiple markets and investment types. Doing so could lessen your investment risk and help you grow a strong financial base for your future wealth.
Stay Out of Debt
Once you set your path to becoming debt-free, it’s essential that you stop using credit cards as much as possible, if not completely. Instead of falling back on debt spending, find room in your budget for the things you want and need, and let your extra money work for you in the market.