Now, more than ever, is the time to refocus and get back on track with your money. Getting out of debt is much harder than getting into it, but you can do it! A great perk for getting back on track financially is reduced stress, too. It’s so important to have a plan for your money every month or you could easily fall into the no-good debt trap. Countless people find themselves drowning in debt simply because they can’t control their spending. If this sounds familiar, try tracking everything you buy for a month, including all those “little” items that cost just a few dollars. Once you see how those purchases add up, you’ll realize how important it is to lay out a budget and stick to it. Understanding how much you actually spend is a good first step, but that alone won’t get you out of high-interest debt. Here are some tips to get you back on track financially:

Step 1) Save enough for emergencies

Your first step is to save enough for emergency situations, such as a large vet bill, a leak in your home, or a health scare. Ideally, you want to have about $1,000 – or whatever your car, home, or health deductible is. This is not what you will need to save to be confident that you can cover absolutely any issue that pops up, but it is a good starting place when it comes to saving for emergencies while getting back on track financially. 

Step 2) Reduce your high-interest debt

  • Use Chapes-JPL. When you are getting rid of high-interest credit card debt, a great way to roll it all into one simple, low-interest loan is getting a collateral loan from Chapes-JPL. They offer loans as low as 3%, which is MUCH better than the 20+% that some offer (hello, American Express!). “For over 40 years Chapes-JPL’s philosophy has always been if our client loses their collateral then we lose the client.” They are client-focused and always concerned with how your experience goes. They are there to help you recover financially! If you want a low-interest loan for a car title pawn Atlanta, they have you covered. 

They say, “Chapes-JPL is the nation’s premier pawn loan lender and one of the best places to sell and pawn high-value assets. Aside from our national notoriety, we continue to be ranked number one where it matters the most, in our hometown of Atlanta Georgia. We have been serving Georgia businesses and residents for more than 40 years. Our mission from day one was to provide our local residents an alternative to the low-balling, high-charging pawn dealers. We are proud to have upheld that commitment for the past 40 years and we look forward to keeping our rates low and affordable.”

Step 3) Create a 3-6 month emergency fund

Once your high-interest debt is paid off (or rolled into a different loan from the ones that Chapes-JPL offers), start saving that 3-6 emergency fund. Now more than ever, we need to be prepared for a shutdown. Preparing for that means preparing mentally, and also financially. Prepare to potentially lose your job. How will you be able to afford your mortgage, your rent, your bills? This is why we need to have a 3-6 month emergency fund. We have been in a pandemic far longer than that and so many of us have not had jobs during this period. Better be safe than sorry!

Step 4) Cut recurring costs, when possible

Most people have recurring monthly expenses that can be eliminated, including:

Excess phone services: These days, most people use cell phones. If you have a mobile and a landline, you probably don’t need both. Pick one and stop paying for the other.

Satellite/cable television: Consider disconnecting satellite or cable service and replacing it with a streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu. You can get entertainment at a fraction of the monthly cost.

There are so many additional recurring costs that you might be blindly paying. Look at your spending habits and cut down where you can. I bet that you will be able to save more than you think you will. Indulgences are something that need to be watched, as well. We all have little indulgences we like to spend money on here and there. And while we enjoy them, we often don’t realize how much they add up. Here are some examples:

Specialty coffee: Stopping by Starbucks on your way to work every morning is certainly a luxury you enjoy, but you could save money by making your own coffee at home. Maybe it won’t be as tasty, but it will do if you want to save $25 or more a week.

Fast food lunches: If you work outside your home, chances are you buy lunch out at least a couple of days per week. These costs mount quickly. Even if you spend only $40 per month eating lunch out, that’s $40 that could go to your savings account or toward a credit card payment.

Step 5) Have some fun

Once you have tackled all of these hard steps, save up a little cash and have some fun – you deserve it! The more you pay off and the more you save, the more freedom you have.

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