The United States hasn’t seen unemployment rates this low in about 10 years, making now the perfect time to leave your debt behind and start building real wealth. After all, you might as well take advantage of your employment and the steady economy that comes along with it because you never know when things might turn around.
With so few jobs available, you might not easily pick up a side job, but there are other ways to carve out money in your budget. You want to create a nest egg that will sustain you in times of trouble and use any extra funds to invest and build a diversified portfolio. The trick is finding the money in your budget to play with, but all it takes is a bit of reorganization to find your hidden cash.
Track Your Money
If you make enough money to cover your expenses, you might not bother with a formal budget. But no matter how much or little income you make, everyone needs to track their income and expenses. By not tracking what you bring in and what you spend, you’ll never know where you could cut corners and how much you could redirect to a more productive vehicle than a checking account.
Start your budget by listing your monthly income and expenses, calculating the difference between the two. Be sure you include savings and investments as line items in your budget to prepare yourself for emergencies or unforeseen financial circumstances. If you don’t have savings and your investment portfolio lacks, you want to adjust your bills and redirect some of that money to a place that will benefit you financially.
Look at each expense, eliminate anything unnecessary, and reduce any necessary bills as much as you can by talking to your creditors. Carrying debt is a line item you want to eliminate entirely, so if you pay credit card bills every month, it’s time to pay them off. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the money set aside to pay off credit cards in full, but there is a path to living debt-free through debt consolidation.
Debt Consolidation Makes Budgeting Easier
Brice Capital will look at your eligible credit card debt and offer to bundle your balances into a single debt consolidation personal loan. That won’t reduce your balances, but it will lower your multiple bills down to one, and you might even get a better interest rate. Having a lower rate means you’ll pay less over the life of the loan and any money you save is money earned.
Let’s say your budget has two or three line items for your minimum credit card payments. If you wipe those out with a consolidation loan and replace them with one bill, you could use the extra money to pay your debt faster, start a savings account, or invest. Just remember, your main focus is to pay off your debt, so put most of your money there first. Ultimately, you want to bring more money than you pay in interest to your creditors because that’s how you gain wealth.
Get There and Stay There
You might be comfortable with your income at the moment, and your job may feel secure, but don’t let that make you financially complacent. As we learned when the housing bubble burst nearly 10 years ago or just 5 years ago with double-digit unemployment, economies change. If you prepare your cash flow when you’re financially stable, you’re ready for whatever life brings your way.
Once you achieve a debt-free existence, keep your budget current, so you stay that way. And if you need financial advice, hire a professional for help. It’s much easier to prepare for hard times before the storm hits than to try and pick up the pieces after it rolls through.