Experts say most Americans save very little for the future. If you feel determined to turn your financial life around, it starts with debt consolidation and saving. A lot of people burdened with excessive debt have found relief through debt counseling. By consolidating your debt, you leave breathing room in your budget for other bills. When you make your savings fund another “bill” to pay, you end up paying yourself now and in the future. According to a recent article by credit.com, it’s possible to stash half your income in savings. Whether it’s for retirement, a vacation or an emergency fund, a savings account can provide you with financial security.
Consolidating your debt
With debt consolidation, you have more money to save because you spend less on your credit card and other unsecured debts. A trained credit counselor goes to work for you, reducing the interest rate on your various credit cards by negotiating with your creditors. In the end, you just make one debt payment through a nonprofit agency. Whether you are ambitious enough to save half of your income or not, you now have more room in your budget to save.
Living with a new budget
Your budget will change due to debt consolidation, but it can also change because you cut your other expenses. Some people downsize their home or apartment so they have lower housing expenses. You can also trade in your car for something less expensive but equally reliable. Other places to cut expenses include luxuries such as gym memberships. Sometimes you can scale back without giving up totally on something. For example, downgrade your phone or cable instead of upgrading it to save money.
Making savings automatic
Another good tip for saving up to half of your income is to set up an automated savings plan. With a debt consolidation program, you can take advantage of an Automatic Pay System so you never have to worry that you are current on your debt management plan. With your personal savings goals, let your employer automatically put half your paycheck in checking and half your paycheck in a special savings account or money market account. Another option is to move the money yourself from checking into savings every pay period or when you receive unexpected cash windfalls such as tax returns.
Financial experts also suggest increasing your income with a part-time job or freelance work and tracking your progress. If you can’t save 50 percent of your income, you are still doing an amazing job if you can save even 10 percent or more. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stick to your lofty goals. Living below your means takes practice. If you avoid buying items on credit cards and save even just a small percentage, you are further ahead. Once you complete your debt management plan, you’ll have even more money to save.
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