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Money Saving Tips to Help You Get Control of Your Debt

Why save money?

Having money set aside for a rainy day is important for your financial security. While we all assume that are jobs will always be there, a surprise could still happen. A downturn in the economy could impact your employer leaving you suddenly out of work. A good rule of thumb is to save up the equivalent of about six months of your salary to ensure that you don’t end up on the street if this unexpectedly happens to you. Having this money set aside also puts you in a good position if a sudden major expense hits you. This could be anything from repairs to your home to huge medical expenses. Whatever the case, it is better to have the money available so you are prepared for anything that comes your way.

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Why set financial goals?

One way to help you secure your financial future is to set goals for your money. Identify big items that you need to be prepared for including purchasing a home, buying cars and taking vacations. When you set a financial goal and put money aside for these items, you are able to keep your future more secure since you won’t always rely on significant amounts of credit to get what you want. With a plan and the discipline to follow it, you can achieve each of the goals you set. You get into trouble when you starting spending more than you make and end up with a significant amount of debt that you can’t really afford.

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Why control my debts?

For many people the idea that your expenses increase to match your income is a true statement. Getting a raise does not automatically mean that you can afford more things if you are still paying off old debt. It is better for you to take advantage of an increase in your income to first get your debts under control. Once those are eliminated you can start looking at new things to buy with your additional income. By taking appropriate steps to plan your financial future, you can make sure you control your debt rather than having it control you.

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How can you stretch your income?

It may be difficult, but you can learn to stretch a dollar so you can make ends meet each month. It may mean cutting out some things that are nice to have but that are not necessary. For example, if you like to go out to eat frequently you may need to learn to do more cooking at home. It’s a matter of identifying what you want versus what you need.

The biggest expense for most families is in the home or cars they drive. If either of these is eating up too much of your budget, perhaps you should look into downsizing. Another possibility is with insurance. You can lower how much you spend on auto or homeowners insurance by increasing your deductible or reducing your coverage. Do more comparison shopping to make sure you are always getting the best deal. With these tips and by cutting out unnecessary extras, you may be able to get your income to stretch further.

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Why worry about using credit cards?

Credit cards should always be used with caution since it can be very easy to run them up. One thing to keep in mind is that if you don’t have the money available to pay off the debt immediately or at least in a reasonable amount of time, then you probably should not buy it. Another good rule of thumb is to not charge food or meals out. Unless you pay off your balance each month, if you charge such temporary goods, you could still be paying for food you ate months later.

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Why worry about special financing offers?

Looking through the newspaper or even through your mail, you will probably find a number of advertisements for unbelievable financing offers. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look closely at the advertisement to see if you can find the fine print. Also, find out more about the company offering the deal by contacting the Better Business Bureau. Don’t let yourself become the victim of a financing deal. Instead make sure you fully understand what is being offered before agreeing to any terms.

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What do I do with a budget?

The best way to ensure that you don’t get in over your head with debt is to develop a budget. If you plan carefully and stick with your budget, you may be able to build a good financial future for you and your family. If you are already in over your head with debt, a budget can still help. By planning out your finances, you can set up a budget that will allow you to pay off your outstanding debts and put money away for your future. This can be the one thing you do to avoid becoming so overwhelmed by debts that you can no longer afford to make ends meet. A good piece of advice when trying to live within your budget is to always remember that if you don’t have the money in the bank to buy something that you want, then maybe you don’t really need it.

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