Although there is plenty of encouraging news about planned government aid to Americans in the wake of the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, such as another round of stimulus checks, help for small businesses, federal unemployment insurance benefits extensions, and a moratorium on student loans, we also have to play our part in helping the economy recover by doing the best we can to improve our finances.
You can make 2021 your year for a financial reset by paying down your debt, adopting success habits, and studying and applying personal finance strategies.
Find an Effective Debt Payment Method
If you have a lot of credit card debt this year because you had to use your credit cards to manage your basic expenses during the lockdown last year, then you may have discovered that it has been difficult to pay off your accumulated balances because of the high-interest rates.
Fortunately, there are several strategies that you could use to pay off your debts more efficiently, such as applying for a loan to pay off all your unsecured debts. This method, called debt consolidation, allows you to roll all your various credit card payments into a single monthly payment.
Applying for a debt consolidation loan is fairly straightforward. A debt consolidation lender will ask you to fill out an online form and will explain how to consolidate your debts.
If you’re dealing with short-term, more immediate debts or expenses like a mortgage payment, car note, or utility bill, you can apply for emergency loans for bad credit. You could get several hundred bucks which you could use to pay off the debt fast. Then you can repay the loan in installments.
Adopt Success Habits
Here, for example, are 4 success habits to follow to improve your finances:
- Learn to earn. During your free time, spend more time reading books to improve your professional knowledge and skills and less time watching TV, surfing the web, and chatting on social media. You could take this a step further, too, by studying for accreditation examinations that will increase your likelihood of improving the quality of your work.
- Sell your value, not your time. Progressively increase your productivity and contribution to your employer. This, too, will position you to flourish in your job and earn a promotion. Simply showing up for work and doing what you’re asked to do is unlikely to help you feel engaged at work or make much of a difference to the company’s bottom line. Selling value rather than time will make your work feel more interesting, and your high level of engagement will also attract favorable attention and earn a promotion. Should your company have to let people go during hard economic times, upper management will prefer to keep you on the payroll over colleagues who simply show up and go through the motions.
- Pay yourself first. Arrange for direct payment of your paycheck to automate your savings. When a percentage of your salary is automatically directed into your savings account, you won’t see this money and feel tempted to spend it. By paying yourself first before paying your bills, you will have less money available to buy things you don’t need at all. And, of course, your savings account will grow month after month.
- Practice delayed gratification. Get better at resisting buying small things of low value. If you buy things because they lift your mood, then you’re buying them for the wrong reason. Instead, focus on getting things that improve the quality of your life rather than things that give you a temporary burst of elation By not squandering your money on small things, you’ll have enough money to buy more expensive things that provide long-term satisfaction.
Study Personal Finance Strategies
Besides adopting the right success habits, devote some time to learn about money matters.
There are many powerful ways to manage and grow your money, such as:
- Setting clear financial goals
- Creating a budget.
- Building an emergency fund.
- Planning your nest egg.
Wealth is not an accident. By reducing your debt burden and adopting success habits, you are far more likely to prosper whether the economy is good or bad.