Did you know, the average household “owes 20 percent more than it makes each year?”1 With the current financial crisis, that percentage may even increase as families go deeper into debt just to maintain their lifestyles.
Primerica recognizes that education is the first step toward helping families learn to develop a healthier financial life. We believe a good understanding of how money works is key to long‑term success. These three tips can help you get started.
1. Avoid the revolving consumer debt trap.
Most credit card debt is revolving debt. Because of the way interest is calculated on revolving debt, it’s hard for you to know exactly how long it will take to pay off your balance. All that interest can add up to big bucks along the way!
With fixed debt, you make payments over a set span of time. It’s easy to tell when the principal will be paid off and – even with the same interest rate and monthly payments – the pay off date is usually much sooner than with revolving debt. Consolidating revolving debt into one fixed rate loan can potentially eliminate those debts sooner and reduce your monthly payment.
2. Understand compound interest.
With a revolving debt account, compound interest can eat away at your financial health. But when you use compound interest in your favor, it can really help savings grow. The more you save, the more interest you can potentially earn on that money.
3. Make a lifestyle change.
When it comes to reducing debt, little changes can make a big difference. By separating “wants” from “needs,” and making the “needs” the priority in spending, you can begin saving toward your future.
It’s a good idea to have periodic checkups with a financial services professional to make sure you stay on track for your goals. Primerica offers a FREE Financial Needs Analysis that is designed to highlight problem areas and present strategies to deal with them.
1 Newsweek, February 1, 2008
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