After the holidays, many people are looking to undo some of their bad spending habits and tidy up their debt. With this five-step plan from Pam Bassi, senior financial advisor at the Sunshine Hills branch of Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, you’ll be well on your way.
Pay off high interest debt first
Review the interest rates on your debt and pay off those at a high-interest rate first. Also, by making two smaller payments per month instead of one, you’ll eliminate your debt much faster and save a lot of interest.
Take advantage of free banking
Read the fine print on your financial services agreements to scout out service charges. Shop around for services that are free, such a no fee banking, e-transfers or online bill payments.
Set up automatic payments
Automatic payments will ensure you don’t miss any payments and incur penalties—which can inflict serious damage on credit ratings and impact future borrowing such as getting a mortgage or loan.
Get free rewards and use points for household expenses
Take advantage of credit card reward programs—but only if you immediately pay the balance off in full. You’ll rack up reward points that you can use to buy free groceries every few months.
Talk to an expert
Lastly, visit your local Envision Financial branch. Our financial experts can help you with any of the concepts mentioned here as well as help with household budgeting, debt repayment and more—and our advice is always free.