Updated: Sep 3, 2021
I interviewed my husband, Darnell James for this blog about his recommendations to seek debt-free living as a lifestyle. This is particularly important as we are living in pandemic times. Things are unsettled; this includes jobs, markets, situations and expectations.
Darnell possesses a financial planning certificate from DePaul University in Chicago and a bachelor's degree in math from the University of IL at Chicago. He is a Data Manager at a Chicago Bank currently.
Many may say that living debt-free is a pie-in-the sky dream. Yet, Darnell gives 5 tips to work toward this goal perpetually. Keep these points handy as you devise your budget and work on individual or family finances. These points apply to everyone as applicable choices occur.
Prepare a budget. Think of your "budget" as a friend who walks alongside you on life's pathway. It allows you to set goals, review them and adjust sights based upon tailored needs.
Consider thoroughly any debt that you feel you wish to assume. Check out the interest rates on bankrate.com. Calculate the cost in today's value and what the overall amount will be over the life of the loan. If the you wind up paying more than the item's originally worth with the loan terms you seek, wait. Acquire the money first, whenever possible. Eliminate impulsive buying for big ticket items. This point includes car, student and credit card debt. Strategize. Can you get same item as cash for 60 or 90 days instead of signing on for interest loans? Can the college student apply for work on campus or plan work near home? Does a friend have what you need? Can you barter?
Setup a worksheet to pay off debt. Why? Debt has a burden attached to it. Of course, this means some favorite things may need to either be curtailed or lessened to meet the challenge. Reward yourself intermittently with a low-cost treat when you reach targets. Common advice is to pay the lowest amount first. Next, roll the first payments onto the second lowest bill. You will see a decrease in the amount owed with this process.
Stay out of debt. Let's roll back to March 2020. Did anyone see the business shutdowns? What happened to people who did not money on hand? Long lines evolved everywhere. Please do not think that any finger pointing is meant. Since these realities exist in our present time, maintain financial resilience whenever possible.
Save. So, you have money on hand for unexpected occurrences. The question may surface - savings are not getting a lot of interest at the bank. Agreed. Save, you can invest. Check online. Review fees when investing with a broker or online. The next question is: are single parents or college students expected to save? The answer is "yes". Keep a determined amount that you can afford comfortably available. It is understood that saving can detract for having regularly desired items. However, all of these ideas work more easily as we pray and ask God's wisdom in our affairs before making long-term decisions.
Be indebted to no one, except to one another in love. For he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law, Romans 13:8 Berean Study Bible.
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