Here is the January 2021 Market Update for Hampton Roads, regarding real estate for the region's seven cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton and Newport News. More information about market trends and months’ supply of inventory can be obtained from The Real Estate Information Network. Read more here....
Six Top Tips for Paying Down Debt
This is that time of year where we make resolutions and fresh starts. With the average family carrying more than $8,000 in credit card debt, and an economy still making adjustments, for many, it just makes good sense to put debt resolution a little higher on the annual “to-do” list. To help you do that, let’s take a look at six top tips for getting out of debt.
Make a list and check it twice. List every credit card you have, the balance owed and the interest rate you’re paying. That will give you the best snapshot of where you are, and allow you to create a plan for where you want to be in the time frame that makes the most sense for your family.
Pick a card (but not just any card). Choose the card with the highest interest rate, and adjust your monthly payments so that you’re paying as much as possible on that card until it is paid off, then re-adjust your payments for the next highest interest rate, and so on. Also consider moving balances on cards with high interest rates to cards with lower interest rates.
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Weekly vs. Monthly. If you carry a balance on your credit card, and you’re only able to afford paying the minimum monthly amount, pay weekly installments instead of one monthly payment. For example, if you owe $100 per month, pay $25 per week. Very often, credit card companies accrue interest daily on your balance, so paying only once a month can be detrimental. Switch to weekly and you could find yourself saving anywhere from $10-$100 per month.
Use your savings to pay down debt. Consider that it just doesn’t make sense to earn 1-3% interest on your savings account while paying 12, 15, or 18% interest on credit cards.
Cut it up. Choose the card with the most favorable rates and terms, and put it in a safe place (other than your wallet.) Use this card for emergencies and cut the rest up. It may seem extreme, but it is effective. You can’t go deeper in debt if you’re not actively charging on your cards!
Get creative. Consider ways you can reduce your monthly expenses by $10, $20, or even $50 or more a month and put that towards a specific debt. You can reduce your repayment schedule by months or even years. Some ideas for saving include: Cancelling magazine subscriptions - many could save you more than $10 per month. Instead of going out as a family, consider game nights and family picnics as less expensive alternatives. This can save anywhere from $20-$60 per month or more depending on the size of your family. Check the internet for restaurant and grocery coupons, especially the two-for-one varieties, which can save you another $10-$50 a month or more!
Make this year your year for building wealth and eliminating debt. Little steps here and there may just help you and your family save in some very big ways!
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