It is much harder than you think to get your finances into a place where you don’t have to worry about them and can feel better overall about their standing. Just setting a budget can be boring and something that you don’t want to do, nevermind figuring out how to pay down your debt and save for goals.
But there are a number of ways that you can get your financials aligned, save for the future, and pay down that debt that has been plaguing you for years. Yes, it takes discipline, but it does not have to be this world changing shift to get things in order.
Pay More Than Your Minimums
Each month for your loans – credit cards, mortgages, student loans, car loans – you will have a minimum payment due. This goes towards paying not only the principal of your loan, but the interest rates as well. Pay anything more per month is incredibly helpful, though it may not be fun to give extra money towards bills.
The fact of the matter is that doing so can help you pare down that debt far quicker. Anything over your minimum payment goes towards the principal and the quicker you pay off the principal, the more fees you avoid paying and the more you save over the long-term.
Set up Alerts
Setting up alerts, either by text or email, for your loans or credit cards can be incredibly useful. This lets you know when a large transaction has occurred or when you have a payment due, so you can avoid missing a payment. Missed payments are the largest reason for dips in credit scores and this will help you stay on top of your finances so that your score doesn’t take an unnecessary hit.
Contribute More to Your Retirement
It can be easy to spend the majority of your funds on bills or other endeavors, but thinking ahead to the future is something that you need to keep in mind. If your company offers a 401(k) plan, not only should you be contributing to it, you should be contributing as much as possible towards it.
These plans allow you to invest money at a tax-free rate towards your retirement and most companies will even match your contributions to a certain point. It’s basically free money towards your future and something you should absolutely be partaking in.