Sleep better knowing you are getting a handle on your finances. Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC photo
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- · Banks make lots of money from account fees: debit card transaction fees, under required balance fees, too many ATM transaction fees etc. It is recommendable to sit with a banker who can look at your history and recommend changes to your account based on your activity to minimize fees.
- · If you are making minimum or minimal payments on credit cards confirm the interest rates you’re paying for anything not paid in full. Compare the rates of each cards and benefits (like cash back offers) and consider balance transferring to the credit card that offers the least rate and lowest balance transfer fee (as long as you have open credit for this) & best benefits. If you’re not able to do this, pay bigger payments to the cards that are charging most to minimize these fees.
- · Many utility companies (gas & electric) offer budget plans that allow you to pay a flat fee per month. They will look at your annual history and average this expense across 12 months so it doesn’t fluctuate drastically between winter and summer months. It is easier to estimate a bill and plan your budget with this firm number as it takes the guessing out of it. Also, for example, DTE allows me to pay my bill anytime during the month since I’m on the budget plan and I’m not considered late.
- · Many debtors will allow you to pick the due date (especially credit card companies). If the 15th of each month has to many bills, call and see if you can move some of the bills to the 7th and some to the 22nd to balance this. If the credit card company agrees, it will be fixed at the new due date.
It is stressful to have overwhelming debt, it feels as if the debt is absorbing your oxygen and taking days off of your life. Make an effort to take back your control. Find things to do that involve minimal expense. Yes, you can get down to the basics and save money: try a staycation instead of a vacation, have fun in nature, make dinners at home, pack lunches, make your own coffee, color your own hair, paint your own nails etc. Do whatever it takes to take your life back because my friend, you are worth the peace of mind that comes with it.