Although the past few years have not been easy for anyone, it has certainly given some people the opportunity to pick up new spending habits (good and bad) at home. The ease with which you might find a new hobby, decide to take on an expensive home improvement project, or even get sucked into an addictive video game is all very well, but it can also be expensive. Even for the military, the security blanket of a guaranteed paycheck (tax-free if you’re deployed) has led many to rack up unsustainable credit card bills. No judgment here. Balancing your budget – as I heard all the time when I was in the service – is well prepared, but that doesn’t matter when reality kicks in and those minimum payments are due.
It only takes one ill-advised purchase to derail your financial security. Maybe you bought a new motorcycle or a new boat, which you could afford at the time, but to your dismay a major appliance broke down and needed to be replaced immediately. The next thing you know is that your financial plan is in jeopardy and you have a pile of high interest credit card debt.
If it starts to hit a little too close to home, don’t worry, we’ve all been there at one time or another. Managing debt successfully is part of adult life. Fortunately, 2022 is a new year and there is always a way out of debt. Fortunately, Navy Federal Credit Union is here to help you with some tips that should make your path to financial freedom easier.
Stick to your budget
As we have already shown above, having a budget and keeping one are two very different animals. However, by sticking to the limits you have set for yourself, you will still minimize the havoc that unforeseen expenses will cause when they inevitably arise. It’s neither fun nor sexy, but living within your means allows you to accumulate wealth and save for that rainy day that will inevitably come. If you don’t have a budget yet, there are plenty of templates online that can get you started, Google Sheets has a few good ones.
Save every month
Going along with the advice above, make an allowance in your budget each month for some type of savings, whether it’s a mutual fund, TSP, or just an account. savings labeled “emergency fund“. Ultimately, a little each month saves you from having to dip into living expenses when your 3-year-old daughter decides she wants to see how many Barbie dolls can fit in the toilet and manages to flood your entire house ( this one was a little personal. Even a hundred dollars a month will add up in the long run, and the discipline of saving means you can also have the discipline to reduce debt.
Consolidate your debt
Nobody is perfect. Expenses are coming. Life happens. That’s why credit cards can be so useful, and using your credit to create leeway in your other monthly payments can be a responsible way to manage your debt. Finding the right credit card for debt consolidation may seem difficult, but Federal Naval Credit Union simplified the selection process to make it easy for everyone. Unlike other credit card companies who can charge exorbitant rates and offer confusing terms that leave you worse off than you started, Federal Naval Credit Union keep your best financial interests in mind. Currently, qualified members who open a new Platinum Card can take advantage of a low introductory rate for the first 12 months on all balance transfers. This means you could save hundreds of dollars in the first year alone by transfer all your different bills and debts to a single NFCU account. If that wasn’t enough, they also don’t charge fees for balance transfers to the account (like many other banks).
The Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA.
This article was sponsored by Federal Naval Credit Union.