Get Finances Straight In Time For New Year

Get Finances Straight In Time For New Year

Posted: Updated:

A new year, and time to start with a clean slate.

"New year's a great time to start things new. And the reality is most people don't have a plan or a budget," says John Thompson with Thompson Wealth Management and Life Planning, Inc.

The first thing you should do is keep track of all your debt and create a plan of attack.

"Doing that requires a budget, you know, looking at what you've got coming in, what you've got to spend," says Scott Hehman with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Mobile.

Sometimes that will require making some cuts.

"Anytime I'm going through someone's budget, there's some wiggle room in there. But if you don't identify where that money's going, it's kind of hard to find extra cash to pay on that debt," says Thompson.

And with interest rates on certain cards reaching into the double digits, it's best if you make a larger payment than just the minimum amount.

"Based on their perceived level of risk, that may be 15-20-30%. And sometimes when people have that amount of debt, paying that minimum, they may never get out of that."

"The more extra that you can apply to the card, the more will go to the principle and the faster you'll get the account paid off," adds Hehman.

What's really important is just getting started. A plan, no matter how small, is still a plan.

"No budget is perfect, but at least starting that process," says Thompson.

You can also look into combining all those balances onto one card. Shop around for a card with a low interest rate and transfer your balances there. This makes the debt easier to tackle since you don't have to divide your payments among several credit cards—and it will be cheaper since you only have that one interest rate.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Surveillance Camera Captures Police Chase

    Surveillance Camera Captures Police Chase

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:46 PM EDT2014-04-18 01:46:59 GMT
    News 5 has surveillance video of Wednesday's police chase in Baldwin County. Witnesses say they're frustrated with police. News 5's Blake Brown explains.
    News 5 has surveillance video of Wednesday's police chase in Baldwin County. Witnesses say they're frustrated with police. News 5's Blake Brown explains.
  • Shark Shakes Up Social Media

    Shark Shakes Up Social Media

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:21:15 GMT

    The man who caught a record breaking mako shark somewhere along the Florida gulf coast shares his story after a picture of his catch at a gas pump catches fire online. Shark fishermen are normally very private about their hobby.

    The man who caught a record breaking mako shark somewhere along the Florida gulf coast shares his story after a picture of his catch at a gas pump catches fire online. Shark fishermen are normally very private about their hobby.


  • Driver Faces Manslaughter in Foley Fatality

    Driver Faces Manslaughter in Foley Fatality

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:15 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:15:29 GMT
    The man accused of leading police on a chase that ended with the death of an innocent driver is facing numerous charges, including manslaughter.
    The man accused of leading police on a chase that ended with the death of an innocent driver is facing numerous charges, including manslaughter.
Powered by WorldNow

555 Broadcast Dr,
Mobile AL 36606

Telephone: 251.479.5555
Fax: 251.473.8130
Email: news5@wkrg.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.