The wonderful holiday is over. Now it is time to deal with the debt. Perhaps you have made a New Yearâ??s Resolution involving this topic. We have invited Jeff Romine, partner with the Financial Planners of Missouri to discuss this topic.
Question 1: Now that the holidays are behind us, I am sure many people are finding themselves deeper in debt. Can you help interested viewers to figure out how to deal with their debt?
My best advice: â??Do not get into debt!â??
If your debt is out of control, develop a resolve to be different.
Avoid the problems of debt: tension, depression, loss of sleep, excess worry and stress, family fights, and problems leading to divorce.
Question 2: What if someone wants to get their debt under control but do not have the discipline, what can they do in this situation?
For dire situations, consider bankruptcy
Or Credit counseling
Take action to change your habits
Find the internal strength
Communicate with your spouse
Question 3: Are there any actions that you would suggest?
Here are steps to consider:
Get rid of all of your credit cards except one for emergencies
Only use a debit card
Start saying â??noâ?? to dinners and lunches out,
Forget about expensive cell phones and technology,
If you must have a pet, delay until you can afford one,
Do not go out for your entertainment,
Buy used automobiles,
Consider shopping in thrift stores for your clothes items
Do not borrow money.
Talk with your spouse
The bottom line is: Do not, under any circumstance, spend more than you take in!
Question 4: What actions would you recommend to pay off debt?
Develop a strategy to attack your debt:
Make a list of your consumer debt
Prioritize the debt by identifying
list the debt from smallest to largest, or
list by size of interest with the largest rate first, to smallest rate,
Decide your strategy.
Have the resolve to pay down your debt.
As you progress, attack the next item on your list.
Options if you need cash:
Can you increase your earnings or get another job?
Cash in your savings, if any.
Ask family members for help.
Investigate transferring high interest credit card balances to low interest cards.
Consider a low-interest home equity loan
Negotiate with your creditors
Consider borrowing from life insurance policy with cash value,
Or as a last resort borrow against a 401k
Question 5: How can one stay out of debt?
Change your habits.
Learn to live within your means.
Learn to say â??noâ?? to unnecessary purchases,
Ignore the minimum payments and pay off the entire balance on your credit cards.
Use only one credit card for emergencies
Use a debit card for all of your purchases.
If married, communicate with your spouse
Develop a long-term vision of a time when you will have a good life, without debt.
Financial Planners of Missouri
110 S Franklin St.
Kirksville, MO 63501