HOW TO PAYOFF DEBT WITH A LOW INCOME

People often come to us for counseling when they are facing a financial crisis. How does one make it through a crunch when there are so many bills to pay?

We say to make keeping a roof over your head your top priority. Prioritize the rent or house payment first and foremost. Any unpaid bill that can get you evicted or land you in foreclosure is your first bill to pay every month. In addition to keeping a roof over your head make a priority to keep your transportation, food, and utility bills first in your list every other bill goes under the line. 

After you took care of your family and you’ve cover your four walls, focus on preserving your income. We recommend trading in an expensive vehicle for something affordable that you can own outright, but in the short term, keep the ability to get to work and earn an income if you can purchase your vehicle on cash way better an unexpensive reliable vehicle.

Another example is your cell phone. For many people, we might advise canceling an expensive cell phone plan and living with a cheaper on monthly unexpensive basis payment phone. Each monthly expense should be weighed against these criteria first, before any other factors are considered.

Remember after you’ve paid the bills that ensure you will have a place to live and a way to continue to earn a paycheck, then you’ll want to prioritize the remaining debts based on a plan. Create a written budget and focus on eliminating debt systematically. We often recommend paying everything the minimum payment and putting anything extra toward the debt with the highest interest rate. When that debt is paid off, start paying the next highest, and so on. Read more about the “Debt Snowball” method for more info on how this might work.

Remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact us for a FREE confidential credit counseling and debt advice session. Let us help you put together a budget to get through your financial crisis and knock out your debts.

Top Financial Challenges For Women 

 

 

 

 

 

 

far from trying to stereotype women, we just want to share few of the top financial challenges women face in today’s society, disadvantages that women need to be aware of when dealing with money matters. Again we’re not trying to stereotype women, each woman is unique and possesses the ability to soar and be a world class influential woman.

let’s dive in!

1. Wage Gap– on average, women earn less than men. Why that gap exists is a matter of often-heated debate, but the fact of its existence isn’t disputed.

 

 

  • What to do– While the wage gap is a subject for society as a whole to address, in the short term, individual women need to focus on money management and budgeting. A very particular trait in women is the ability to focus and multi task. Learning and developing new skills, one of the best ways of facing the wage gap challenge for women is by consistently tracking spending in writing. Skills are learned so this is one skill all women should learn tracking all spending, and using the collected data to create a new written budget. See our budgeting article

 2. Price Gapproducts designed exclusively for women are more expensive than those meant for men, women’s clothing is more likely to need dry cleaning, and women have to purchase things like cosmetics that men don’t use. All of these expenses add up to a hefty price gap between the genders. Studies have also shown that women’s health care is more expensive than men’s, even when exhibiting the same symptoms, not surprise!




  • What to do– Again, budgeting is key. Comparison shopping is also a must. There are all kinds of great apps or even store websites that can be use for comparison with the idea of saving money. The number one form of overspending isn’t buying on impulse, it’s paying too much for things. So look at your necessary spending and see if there’s anything you’re paying too much for that can be bought cheaper from another source, or in bulk. See our 10 ways of to make extra money article

3. Long-Term Care some of these categories seem especially unfair, in that they represent admirable qualities that nevertheless result in financial challenges for women. A Princeton study found that women are twice as likely as their male siblings to end up caring for an elderly parent. And a study from the Journal of Applied Gerontology found that women are more likely to be displaced from the workforce when providing long-term care.

  • What to do– The best solution is to plan well ahead of time, it is always a good idea to add a long term care insurance  tab to your budget planning when you start thinking that it might be necessary in the coming years. The fact that is in your mind, and you are concern about it tells that you might want to start planning for it before is too late.  Put a small percentage aside on your budget and get ready so that you’re able to get long-term care insurance to meet this need when the time comes. Every family situation is different, but if you think this kind of situation is likely, that insurance is more likely to be worth it. And your whole family needs to come together and decide if they are going to buck the trend and share care giving responsibilities equally among siblings just make sure is on writing as a contract, not that you don’t trust your family but, people tend to agree to this type of things and many times fail to deliver leaving the responsibility to a single individual to deal with. See our the secret to savings article

4.Charity – another category that turns a positive into a challenge; women are more likely to give to charity than men, and on average they donate more.




  • What to do– Donating to worthy charities and those that are concistent with your values is great, so we’d only caution you to make charitable giving part of your written spending plan so you don’t go overboard.  You can’t give what you don’t have, do not over promise and do not let anyone bully you or manipulate you into giving. Set a percentage of your income in your budget for giving and stick to it. Do not write checks by Faith to bounce back and get charge for overdraft knowing that there’s no money in your account. Doing that won’t help you or the causes you support. Think of when you’re on an airplane; they tell you in an emergency to put the breathing mask on yourself first, before helping anyone else. The same principle applies here. You’re no good to charities or the needy if you can’t make ends meet yourself. Follow your budget and give as you can, your priority is working your money plan so that you, your family and the people you love and wantvto help can benefit, so make giving a top priority in your budget and give accordingly. See our why giving article

4. Education– yet another positive trend that ends up costing women more money. These days, women are more likely to attend college than men. That’s good—it’s part of how society is addressing the wage gap—but with tuition costs skyrocketing in recent decades, today’s graduates are left with hefty student loan debt.

  • What to do– Student loans are a huge headache for graduates and a huge business for financial institutions everywhere in America, Student loans sees no gender it affects men and women alike. see our How to pay for college without using student loans article




 

What other financial challenges you think women are facing today?

If you’ve got difficulties with your finances in general we’re here to help. Contact us today @ www.redtogreeneconomy.com or @ getinfo@redtogreeneconomy.com

The Silliest Thing I Did to Pay Off Debt

What’s the craziest, silliest thing you ever did to pay off debt ? Well me personally? You’ll probably laugh at this one but hey I’m debt FREE! And I’m going to share it anyway.

I’m seriously terrified of being in debt. Like seriously, seriously.

Growing up, I was told by  one of my aunts if you can’t buy things cash don’t buy them, you don’t need them. I took her philosophy seriously and I’ve done my best to stay out of debt as much as possible but, few years ago my husband and I were $47,000.00 in debt, we did everything in power to pay off our debt quick. It took us three to four years just on his income, one of the craziest things I did was collecting pennies, my mom would have a small bucket ready for me at least twice a month, those pennies were worth anywhere from $15 to $40 each time, I also picked up every penny I saw lying on the ground. It was crazy but our debt was getting paid.




 

Maybe you’re in debt today, it doesn’t matter how big or small, here are some tips of other things we did that might help you.

Step One – Get Together A List Of Every Debt You Have

The first step to pay off your is to know every debt you owe. This can be a bit overwhelming, but it is a necessary first step.

We started by pulling our free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, the only place where you get 100% free credit reports as authorized by federal law. You can pull your credit report from all three bureaus if you wish or you can simply pull one report from each bureau every 4 months if you want to monitor your credit for fraud. Either way, you’re entitled to one report from each bureau (Experian, Transunion and Equifax) per year.

This report will show you a list of all of the debts that you owe other than loans from friends and family. The balances owed may be a month off if your creditor hasn’t reported your most recent payment, but it will give you the big picture of who you owe money to.

Once you have this list of who you owe money to, it’s time to dig deeper to get the rest of the information you’ll need.

Step Two – Find Out Everything About The Debts You Owe

Now that you have a list of who you owe money to, it’s time to figure out everything else about your debt. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to know about every debt you owe:


      • Exact amount you owe
      • Payment amount
      • Frequency of payment (monthly, quarterly, etc)
      • How many payments left (if fixed term debt such as a mortgage, student loan or car loan)
      • Interest rate and whether it is fixed or variable
        • If variable, what the rate is based on (prime rate, LIBOR, etc)




    • Due dates
    • Grace period (if applicable)

    Where do you get this information? To find out how much you owe, check your most recent statements.

    For everything else, you’ll need to do a little bit of digging. For loans, check the loan documents you signed. If you can’t find the loan documents, try calling the creditor or log in to their website and check your account details.

    For credit cards, check the terms you agreed to when you signed up for the card. You may also be able to find this information online after you log in to your account on the credit card’s website. If you’re having trouble understanding the terms, call the number on the back of your credit card. A representative will be more than happy to help you.

    Step Three – Assess Your Debt Situation

    It’s time to look at the big picture now that you’ve figured out all the details on every debt you owe. It probably won’t be fun and it could be just plain ugly, but you have to do it to move forward.

    First, add up the total amount of debt you owe. The number may be scary but we’re going to work on knocking it down, so don’t worry too much yet.

    Next, take the amount of all of your monthly payments and add them up. This the minimum amount of money that you owe on your debt every month. Again, this can be overwhelming, but you’ll be able to knock this down as you pay off your debts one at a time.

    Step Four Choose a Debt Pay-Off Plan

    There are a few different debt pay off plans you can choose from.

    The snowball method requires you to list your debts from smallest to largest and pay them off in that order. You pay all of your minimum payments and throw everything else toward the smallest bill. This is a great method for anyone looking for instant motivation and is the method I used when I had credit card debt.

    Check out The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

     The second method is the debt avalanche. With this method you’re paying off your debts from largest to smallest interest rate, therefore saving money over the long run. (You’re still making minimum payments on everything else.)

    There is no right or wrong way to go. The method you choose will depend upon your personality.

    Step Five Trow Extra Cash at Your Debt When Possible

    Chances are sometime in the year you will get a bonus or a raise or at the very least a tax refund. When you do, don’t spend it. Use it to pay off debt.

    The tax refund is easy. Just use the entire thing to pay off a credit card or apply to student loans. The same goes for any bonus you may receive at work. Often, these come during the holidays, so don’t be tempted to spend the money on gifts.




    Chances are everyone in your life already has everything they truly need.

    As for a raise, have the extra money immediately put in another bank account. You can then dip into this money every few months and use it as a lump sum to pay off debt. If you do it this way, you’ll never miss the money in the first place.

    Step Six Have a Garage Sale

     Most people have houses or apartments full of unwanted or unneeded items. Now is a great time to sell them. Whether you want to throw them up on Ebay or Craig’s list or have a yard sale, get them out of your house and free up some room. You’ll also end up with extra cash in your pocket that you can use to pay off your debt. When it comes to how to pay off debt quickly, this is one of the easiest ways. If you don’t think you have anything to sell, look again.

     

    Also, don’t forget that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, so don’t assume no one would want to give you money for that ugly Christmas sweater or that vase you got as a wedding gift ten years ago from Aunt Judy that you’ve always hated.

    Step Seven Find an Extra Job

    This is absolutely fine I’m sure you are busy enough but don’t dismiss this idea your goal is to get out of debt and get your peace of mind. Even a few hours a week can provide you with a decent amount of cash to use to pay off debt, and when it comes to how to pay off debt quickly, sometimes we have to do things we don’t really want to do.

    If you use all of this second income to pay your debt, you’ll see a huge difference quickly.

    Make sure this second job is something that is stress-free. This is especially important if you have a stressful full-time job. The job doesn’t need to be glamorous and while you might not love it, just keep in mind that a little short-term extra work will pay off big sooner than you realize.

    Step Eight Work Overtime

    If you have decided one job is plenty, thank you very much, then instead of finding a second one or creating one for yourself, check with your employer to find out if you can get some overtime work.

    The advantage here is you already work there and you know the lay of the land, so to speak. If your company is short handed, then they will be thrilled to help you out and might even give you a raise in the long run for being a team player.

    Step Nine Start a Side Business

    While this is related to a second job, in my humble opinion it is a little better because you’ll be working for yourself. When a lot of people think of a side hustle they think of working online and that’s certainly an option.

    However, if you’re not the kind of person that is tech savvy or you don’t like to write, then don’t forget about everything you can do offline.

    For example, you can make money doing almost anything. You can mow lawns, deliver groceries, clean houses, the list is endless. The great thing about this is you can choose your own hours and how much you




    Step Ten Don’t Forget to Get Creative and Enjoy Your Debt FREE Life.

    Have some creativity, chances are you’re good at something. If you work on your craft and get creative you will achieve your dream of living a debt free life. Op out from receiving offers in your mailbox

    Nothing is more annoying than pulling up to your mailbox after a long day of work and finding it filled to the brim with junk mail credit card offers. Every day, credit card companies fill up our mailboxes with needless junk that is immediately rerouted to the shredder or trash can. But here’s great news: You can make them stop! It’s actually very easy to stop receiving unsolicited junk mail credit card offers. All you need to do is visit optoutprescreen.com, type in your information, and you’ll stop receiving these offers for five years. Or, if you use traditional mail to send in the form, you can opt out for 10 years.

     

    It’s simple. No more credit card junk mail for you, no more wasted time for your mailman, and no more overheated shredders and filled-to-the-brim trash cans.

    Don’t forget to live within or bellow your means, this is so important not just while you’re on your debt free journey but always. That’s how you’ll be able to enjoy peace of mind and even build wealth.

    What’s been the craziest thing you’ve done to pay off debt?

    Also while you are here download a free copy of our 45 Practical Ways to Save Money Every Day E-book.

    please share our resources and stay connected with us on social media we’ll see you around.