Sensible personal finance can seem like going against the crowd. Spending wisely and saving according to a plan that meets short-term and long-term needs; paying down debt, and more than the minimum on credit cards, and making sacrifices all seem contrary to what everyone else appears to be doing.
It seems like a lot of people are buying everything that they want without a care: expensive cars, houses, boats, vacation homes, and many luxury items and designer fashions. It can be discouraging, and make us think that we’re on this journey alone, that everyone else is on easy street with no debt and a great salary. When we hear that the economic recovery started in 2009, we might wonder if it passed us by.
Yet, the average U.S. household has about $15,609.00 in credit card debt according to recent analysis by NerdWallet. So apparently debt is financing much of the spending that we’re seeing. Bankrate’s latest survey of credit card interest rates sets the average rate at 14.9%, so the average monthly interest being paid on credit card debt is about $193.81. This is just the interest payment. Instead of paying credit card interest, saving the $193.81 each month even at 1% interest would grow to $2,336.41 in one year and $4,696.29 in two years. There are obviously better uses for this money than paying credit card interest.
Stay motivated and on track even when it seems that debts will never be paid off, or when a financial setback interrupts saving. We know that if we don’t increase debt and pay more than the interest on our debt, then the debt will eventually be eliminated. It’s basic mathematics. We also know that untouched savings, especially savings with regular deposits will grow to large amounts. The difficult part is sticking to our plan when the going gets tough. Remember…if it were easy, then everyone would be financially independent.
I encourage you to keep going. You’re not alone. Manage your finances and stick to your plan. If you’re just starting out, develop a plan for debt elimination and saving, and work to the plan. More and more people are joining the ranks, and cutting spending and paying down debt. They’re taking the steps to better financial health, and it isn’t easy for them either.
Check out some of the other blogs on this site and re-visit posts and articles that motivate and encourage you. Track your debt reduction progress and savings growth, and look for areas where you can make minor improvements. Once debt is eliminated, you’ll breath (and sleep) a lot easier, and you’ll be glad for every sacrifice that you made along the way.
Thanks for reading!