Most of us have carried some form of debt at one time or another, be it a student loan, mortgage or credit card. But no matter what your income level is, if you don’t manage your monthly budget, your debt can quickly spiral out of control.
Ideally, borrowing just what you need and making timely payments will keep you on the solid financial ground and help boost your all-important credit score. By always paying on time, you avoided late fees and increased interest rates and finance charges.
Set a Budget and Stick to it!
A good budget management strategy starts with creating a list of your paydays, as well as monthly bill due dates and amounts to help give you an overall picture of your monthly budget, and allow you to plan accordingly. Not keeping up, or purposely ignoring your debt can have dire consequences. By seeing what you owe and what you earn each month, you won’t overlook anything and avoid costly late fees and dings to your credit report.
Who Do You Pay First?
If you are carrying too much debt, you might need to prioritize which bills get paid first. Utilities, such as your gas, water, and power bills should near the top of your list together with living expenses such as food and transportation costs. Rent or mortgage payments come next, and credit card debt should be last.
If you cannot afford to pay all of the credit cards at least the minimum payment, then you need to do something quickly to avoid going into default and being faced with lawsuits, garnishment, or other negative action. Help may be in the form of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can be a powerful financial planning tool, even if you can still afford to pay part of your debt.
Once a debt is under control or eliminated, you’ll have an easier time saving to cover any emergencies that may come up. Aim to have three to six months of living expenses saved up in the long run.
Bankruptcy Experts in Indianapolis, IN
If you are finding it hard to keep up with all of your debts, bankruptcy may be a viable solution for you. At Perez & Perez, we can help advise you on how to conquer your debt.