Increase Your Savings and Decrease Your Debt This Year
You hear from ‘financial experts’ all the time about how to save more and spend less, especially this time of year when many of us are about to face a reckoning for all that holiday cheer we bought. Some of the advice may seem silly, but you actually can increase your savings and decrease your debt.
The first step is to analyze where your money is going and why. Make a budget and commit to it. With a budget, you’ll have to choose priorities. While you’re committing to a budget, you’ll also want to establish a savings plan. Savings can quickly evaporate if you’re not dedicated to replenishing and growing them. Figure out how much you can stash away and then stick to your plan.
A great way to save is through your employer. If your company offers matching 401k plans, take advantage of them. It’s hard to beat a plan that doubles your investment.
Remember that everything is negotiable, and that includes the interest rates on any credit cards or loans you might have. See if you can qualify for a lower rate and keep some of that money ‘in-house.’
Try to pay your highest-interest loans off first. As a general rule, if the interest rate is greater than 7 percent, you’ll probably save more in interest than you would by keeping the money and investing it elsewhere.
Just like with a workout plan, the important thing is to keep working at it, even when you don’t see immediate results. With a little time and patience, you can build a strong and healthy financial future.