CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – We’re just a few weeks into the new year and many people have been crushing their goals.
According to WalletHub, nearly 4 in 10 people have made a financial resolution this year right behind getting fit.
Financial coach and founder of increasing hope financial training center Dorthea Bernique says getting your finances in check first starts with taking an analysis of where you are when it comes to your debt.
“The bills are coming in so take an assessment of who you owe, how much you owe them, and come up with a game plan of paying them off in an aggressive manner,” says Bernique.
She says it’s also important to have a debt reduction plan in place.
One option is the debt snowball method in which you pay off bills in order of smallest to largest, making minimum payments on all of your bills except the smallest one.
With the debt snowball method put as much money as you can towards your smallest debt and once that debt is paid off, take its payment and apply it to the next smallest debt.
“Start where you are and as you free up funds, then add to that overtime. Anything that is draining money from your account on a regular basis or you are paying for and you can do without and put that money towards debt would be a great tool to implement,” says Bernique. She says its also important to have an emergency fund.
You can start with $500 and build it up little by little.
As we go into tax season, also make a plan for that money from your tax return.
“This is a great opportunity to attack maybe a large sum of debt you might have by using the tax return. So my advice is have a plan for it. Don’t let that money come in without a plan,” says Bernique. She says often times in order to get ahead with your finances you might need to think outside of the box.
She says you can sell items you don’t need, set up an eBay page or get a second job.
She says it’s important to keep money growing as you continue pay off debts and make saving a lifestyle.