Image by Wimena Kane
This article comes from Jason Bushey. Jason writes about personal finance and credit card reviews daily on Creditnet.com.
Young adults 30 and under are in debt. Not the good kind of debt that consists of property, investments, or any other investments that might (and hopefully will) appreciate over the time. No, these debts are quite often the bad kinds: payday loan and credit card debts have made the UK's young the biggest users of debt relief orders, according to The Guardian.
As a consequence, many consumers are choosing to live at home well beyond 18, and The Guardian reported earlier this month that 84 percent of young adults in the UK admitted to receiving some financial support since turning 18.
So what's a young person carrying debt caught in this stagnant economy to do? Here are three tips to start thinking frugally while paying off those bad debts.
1.)0 Percent Balance Transfers
The easiest way to pay down credit card debt is by making an interest-free balance transfer. There are some excellent offers currently available, which vary based on the number of months you wish to pay down your debt at 0% interest and how much you're willing to pay to make such a transfer.
For consumers who've calculated that they need two years or more to pay down a current balance, the Barclaycard Platinum with BT (27 Months) is the longest current offer available in the UK. That said, the transfer fee attached to this card is 3.5 percent of the balance being transferred. A less expensive balance transfer option is the Halifax All in One MasterCard, whose 0 percent offer is shorter (15 months) but balance transfer fee significantly less (1 percent).
Determine how long it will take to pay down your credit card debt and what you're willing to pay to do so when applying for a 0 percent balance transfer credit card.
2.)Stop Paying the Minimum and Consider a Spending Freeze
Even at 0 percent interest, it's going to be hard to pay down your debt simply by paying the minimum each month.
Since your time paying no interest is limited, it's important to pay down as much debt as possible during your credit card's interest-free period. And you don't need to be a mathematician to know that adding to your credit card balance with unnecessary purchases is only going to slow down your pursuit of zero debt.
Keep your card in your closet and pay more than the minimum each month; you'll save a ton in interest fees in the long run if you stick to your pay-down plan.
It's rather hard to get serious about saving money without crafting a monthly budget. Consider the expenses you absolutely must pay off every month rent, credit card bill, transportation and set aside an account for those categories deemed necessary. And yes, paying your credit card bill each month is necessary if you hope to maintain the aforementioned 0 percent offers above.
Once that money is set aside, consider the next category of purchases that are necessary but also vary in cost. Food, for example, can vary widely based on price depending on whether or not you're dining out or eating in. A night at the movie theatre can also get pricey, especially when an evening with Netflix is almost always sufficient.
To make sure you are sticking to your budget, and to get a clear idea of which aspects of your lifestyle are most expensive, use a free budget planner like Money Dashboard.
There are certainly everyday ways to have for less. Stay focused on the future, even if it means sacrificing a little something in the present. You'll be thankful you did so once your burdensome debt hits zero.