When it comes to debt reduction, one step many people take is to consolidate their debt. While this makes sense in that it can lower the percentage rates that you are paying on the debt, you also need to be careful regarding the fees associated with consolidating the debt. It’s essential to run the numbers to make sure that the fees involved with consolidating don’t completely negate the gains you receive from the lower interest rates.
Just as you should be double checking or triple checking your budget, looking for another dollar to squeeze out each month so that you can use to pay down your debt, you need to research the debt consolidation benefits with the same intensity. You are shooting your debt reduction plans in the foot if you are not being as diligent when you check on your consolidation method. The fact of the matter is that these transfer fees are how some so-called debt consolidation loans or debt consolidation plans are profitable to the advisors or institutions that offer them. As nice as these people or places may seem to be, remember that they are in business to capitalize on the fact that many people are in debt too deep and need help to get out.
It’s always important to run the actual numbers because a lower monthly payment does not necessarily mean you’re saving money – especially if the length of the loan has been extended. While the exercise of running the numbers may seem a bit daunting at first, it’s excellent practice and will help you in other aspects of your personal finances.
If you have been wondering how many people save so much on groceries, but it seems like your use of coupons hardly makes a dent in your grocery budget, you’ll want to check out Grocery Store Fundamentals where you’ll see why these questions are important:
What Stores Are In Your Area? Do The Stores Offer Loyalty (Club) Cards? What Are The Coupon Policies For Each Store? Does The Store Put Out A Weekly Ad? Do They Offer Rain Checks?
Coming out ahead from the grocery store has a lot more to do with what you know than merely having a handful of coupons in your wallet. While it takes a bit of time to study up on the methods that will create the major savings, once you understand the basics grocery shopping won’t take any more time than it currently does (and can actually take more since you’ll likely be more organized) and you can conservatively see your food bill cut by more than 25%
You have to check out this week’s Carnival of the Mundane – the best written carnival I have ever come across!