June is the most popular month for Spring cleaning, usually because people are discarding old clothing, and preparing for warmer temps by bringing out the patio furniture. However, Spring cleaning is also a great idea for your finances! Taking a deeper look at your overall debt can be a responsible decision for your financial well-being.
How to get a firm grasp on your overall income as a ratio to debt? Golden Financial Services offers a Debt Calculator to help you finally put a firm, overall number on your monthly debt commitments. After understanding your overall debt, follow these steps for plotting a course to financial freedom:
Plan a Budget
After determining your monthly debt amount, the next step is to plot a budget for paying your debt down. Take into account all income sources, including the potential to sell property or picking up extra hours from your current job. For outside-the-box ideas on mitigating debt, NerdWallet provides a testimonial from a recent stay-at-home mom, covering the many ways she and her husband recovered from $72,000 of total debt. If you have more than $72,000 in debt, you may want to consider one of our debt consolidation or debt relief services.
Golden Financial Services’ Budget Calculator starts by putting in simple numbers: Salary and wages plus any other additional income. Next, you will need to have all numbers in terms of utilities, mortgage or rent, lines of credit, and insurance payment amounts ready to go. You can see how comprehensive this calculator is, accommodating for anything you can think of. Once you have your Wallet Balance, here is where we reveal our secret sauce!
The Most Effective Way to Pay Off Debt Quickly
If you haven’t heard of the snowball payment method for paying off debt quickly, here is a quick rundown:
Golden Financial Services offers a very straight-forward Debt Snowball Calculator that will help you get started doing the following:
- Make your most aggressive, over-the-minimum payment you can make on your smallest balance credit card or debt, using the available funds you determined using the budget calculator
- Make the minimum payments on your other debt commitments, and refrain from using these credit cards whenever possible
- Each month, as the principle on your lowest debt is being reduced, your total monthly debt commitment also goes down.
- Continue paying that card debt until the debt is zero, then get to work on your next lowest debt.
- Over time, this method frees up cash flow and available credit for rainy days, while improving your overall debt-to-income ratio.
- Results: Financial flexibility, better overall debt balance, and improvements in credit score!
If the video and these points could still use some context for you, DaveRamsey.com has an amazing infographic to show you the steps and the results.
Other Ways To Pay Off Debt
Not all debts are the same; when we think of debt management, usually credit cards are the first things that come to mind. However as US News point out, there are many different types of debt to consider: “Before you start repaying debt, take a moment to identify the kind of debt you have – whether it’s credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage debt or something else – and determine how much debt you have. Understanding the type and amount of your loans can help you come with a personalized plan for debt payoff.” The rest of that write-up provides 10 tips for paying off debt, and is definitely worth the read.