Do you have a list of must do’s for paying down your debt? Or are you looking for a new approach to hit your financial goals? What if keeping your financial to-do list simple gave you better results? I’ve kept my to-do list fairly simple and easy to follow for the past ten years. I’ve had many successes in hitting financial goals with my to-do list. It has also helped me steer through and around financial surprises. Read on to read my 7 must do’s for paying down your debt.
7 Must-do’s for paying down your debt
- Budget. Your budget includes how much money you have coming in a month. It also includes what you have to pay for throughout the month. This will include your living expenses, savings, and debt payments. The list of items you have to put money towards each month should equal the money you have coming in.
- Know how much you owe. Keep a list of each of your credit cards, loans and people you owe money to. Your list should include, amount owed, interest, APR, due dates and if there are any special circumstances surrounding the debt.
- Keep track of your spending. If you are constantly swiping your debit card or credit card without keeping track it can throw your budget off. I try to only limit my debit card swipes to groceries and gas. I keep track of how much I spend against what I have budgeted in a spreadsheet.
- Know your credit score! This number is important to know as it is used to decide what loan rates you get, what accounts you qualify for and sums up your financial health.
- Pay your bills on time. Credit card bills and loan payments are not the only things to pay on time. Utility bills, like your gas and light bill, also submit your payment history to the credit bureaus. When you pay your bills is a large chunk of your score. Late payments bring your score down. It also tells creditors that you are not responsible with your credit. This can result in higher rates.
- Pay yourself first! Treat saving money as a bill. Saving money will help you avoid racking up more debt and save you when unexpected financial situations arise.
- Have financial goals with deadlines. Whether its paying down your debt to $0 by December of 2018 or saving up $14,000 by August 1, 2024 for a family trip to Paris, goals are important. Dates help keep you accountable and motivate you to spend less and smart. If you knew that having an expensive coffee beverage every day would delay your trip to Paris would you drink it? Maybe you could scale back to enjoying your favorite beverage on the weekend and making it yourself during the week. Goals with dates gets you closer to enjoying the life you want!
Everyone handles their finances differently. You should do what feels comfortable to you AND keeps you accountable to your financial goals.
What are your current financial must dos? What have you tried in addition to help pay down your debt? Is there anything you would add to the list? Share with us in the comments below!