One recommendation is to budget your money.
Germantown, Md (KM) So your New Year’s resolution is to pay down your debts and get your financial house in order. Audra Pettus, the Community Relations Manager for Sky Point Federal Credit Union, says there is no one size fits all way of paying off your debts. “So you have to understand where your areas of opportunities are, and then you personalize your approach to your specific situation,”: she says.
Pettus says there are two ways to strategize your way out of debt. One is called the debt avalanche, where you pay off your debts with the highest principle or interest rate, and then pay down the small debts. The second is the debt snowball, where you pay down your smallest debts first, and then go after the larger debts.
But she also says you need to budget you money, set aside funds for the every day needs such as food, clothing and shelter, and putting some money away for emergencies. “You know exactly what the disposable income you have to commit to making extra payments,. even if it’s just $20 extra a month on top of that minimum payment. The only way you know how to do that is if you budget it effectively and able to identify all of your debt, things that have to paid, differentiating needs versus wants,”; she says.
But what should you do if an emergency comes up, such as repairs to your hours, your old car dies, or your children need new clothes and shoes? “Take care of what you need to take care of and then bring it back to ground zero. But don’t be discouraged from that. That is just the reality of our situation some times. So take of your immediate need, and then circle back to step one to paying off that debt and deciding which one you’re going to tackle first: your larger or your smaller,” says Pettus.
And, she says., don’t get discouraged if it looks like you’ll never get out of debt. “It is a marathon. It’s not a sprint,” she says. “So it does take patience. It does take time.”
For more information on how to get out of debt, you can go to skypointfcu.com.
By Kevin McManus