Contributed by FCFCU
Nobody wants to be in debt, but the fact of the matter is most of us are. Car payments, mortgage payments, school loans, and credit cards – these are the most common debts accumulated by the average American household. For many families, though, debt is getting out of control.
Examine Your Debt. One of the reasons some people have trouble paying off debt is that they don’t know exactly how much debt they are carrying. That makes it hard to plan, and nearly impossible to pay off. Instead, take a good look at your debt. Make a list of all you owe to see (probably for the first time) your total debt load.
Change Your Behavior. It took some bad habits and lack of discipline to get into serious debt in the first place, so the more you can identify the reasons for being in debt, the better prepared you’ll be at avoiding more debt in the future. But why you got into debt doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you don’t let it happen again!
Develop a Budget. Write down all of your expenses and keep track of where your money is going. Use every spare dollar you have to pay off debts. Once you have a budget, you’ll be able to develop a strategy to reduce debt.
Start Saving. Every month, transfer a little of your paycheck into savings. Over time, you’ll amass a sizeable total to pay cash for unplanned expenditures you’d usually make with a credit card.
Pay Off Your Debt. Using the budget you’ve developed, apply whatever you can afford to debt reduction. Pay more than the minimum payment. Take aggressive action and in a short time you’ll see your debt begin to disappear.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you tackle your debt on your own, or with professional help – what matters is that you get out from under the debilitating effects of too much household debt.
The secret to successful money management takes faith in yourself and a little self-discipline. In time you can be much better off. Set up a payment timetable and stick with it.
If you’re looking for more assistance, Fresno County Federal Credit Union members have access to a full range of vital financial services, including budget management, mobile banking, and online bill pay. You’ll receive highly personalized service, checking and savings without monthly fees, and the essential services you need to manage your finances with ease.
For more information, visit Fresno County Federal Credit Union at FresnoCU.com.