With Fourth of July just around the corner, it seems like the perfect opportunity to discuss independence. According to the American Debt Advisor, approximately 50% of Americans have debt. This statistic does not include secured debts such as homes and cars, as that would be closer to 80%. Credit cards are holding people down, keeping them in a cycle of debt. This certainly isn’t being independent at all. Luckily there are alternatives! Let’s take a look at a few examples.
1 – Cut Your Credit Cards. We have talked about this many times on this show, but live on a cash budget! That way, when your cash for that period is gone, its gone!
2 – Reduce your interest rates! Some people have interest rates as high as 30% on their credit cards and all they are doing is paying the minimum monthly payment! Call and negotiate with creditors! Don’t give up! If they can’t help, ask to be connected to a manager. Cutting your interest rate will assist you in cutting your debt!
3 – Bring in extra money. Even if you are working full time, consider babysitting, tutoring, or using any unique skill to bring in money. This way, you can pay off your debt quick and will not be throwing away extra money on debt. Maybe ask to work overtime 1-2 times weekly. Do whatever it takes!
4 – Chip away at the debt. Although it may be painful, make a list of every single debt that you have, and rank them in order of the highest interst rate, not the highest balance. Every time you have a little extra money, throw it at that card. And don’t ever use it again, or that defeats the purpose!
5 – Get organized! Believe it or not, getting your documents in order will help you pay down your debt! Find an organizational system that works for you and your spouse. This way you don’t waste money on late fees by neglecting to make a payment, and all your documents are easily accessible.
Scot Landborg, a wealth strategist from Conaway and Conaway, has four tips on how to be financially independent. Start early, be determined, invest as much money as your circumstances allow, and look for the highest potential rate of return that you can safely achieve. Of course, achieving this safely is going to mean different things to different people, so be sure to talk to your financial advisor before you invest so you understand the risks involved. And always remember to save up regularly; It makes a big difference if you set up a monthly withdrawal so that you don’t forget! Invest as much as you can afford, and you will have more money working for you if you remember to find investments that fit YOU.
What’s Working in Business
Tina Trisler is the owner of a baking business called “Frosting on Top” in Rancho Santa Margarita. She describes herself as basically a personal baker for her customers. You can call her the day before and tell me what you need, and she will do everything possible to get the order to you. Tina bakes homemade cookies, cakes, candies and of course, cupcakes. The majority of her business is based on cupcakes. Her prices are much better as a result of not having to pay the costs of a store front, so she passes the savings on to her customers. People can call her cellphone directly at 949-433-8895. For more information, they can visit her website at www.somethingspecialcatering.net
For a complimentary consultation with Jim or Lorraine Conaway, please call 888-266-2929 and mention the “Smart Money Talk Radio” show.