Welcome to The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money video series. My name is Stacey Powell, and if you’re ready not just to know better but do better with your money, you’ve come to the right place.
Lately, we’ve been talking about the four letter word “debt”. How to stop using debt. Today I’m going to talk about how to, both, stop using debt and how to pay off your debt. I get asked this all the time. Now should I pay all my debt down first and then start saving? And in fact, if you watch Dave Ramsey, he says to save $1000 and then do nothing but pay down debt whether you have $5000, $20,000, $60,000.
I disagree. I think that it’s really important that you pay your debt down at a rate somewhere equal to what you’re saving. Because if you don’t have savings set aside, it’s like Groundhog’s Day all over again. Emergencies are going to happen. They are always going to happen, and you’re going to need a way to pay for the emergency. If you made a commitment to stop using debt, but you have an emergency, and you have to keep going back to the credit card, energetically, it just doesn’t work. We all think a lot harder about what our options are when we have to take money out of our emergency savings account than if we just pull our credit card out.
It’s something like needing a root canal and you don’t have savings. Well, I’m certainly not going to tell you that this is the moment to absolutely stop using your credit cards. But if your TV breaks, stop watching TV for a while. If your tires go bad, well, you know what? Maybe it’s time just for a couple of months to put used tires on or take public transportation or borrow somebody’s car. There are always options out there and we look at the situation differently when we're using our savings account rather than our credit card or getting the help from some other place.
So my recommendation when it comes to paying down debt and saving is: if you’re paying $500 to bills, put $500 into savings. Make sure you’re building your savings at a rate somewhere equal to the amount that you’re paying your debt down.
As always, these things aren’t easy to do on your own. If they were, you would have done it by now. I would love it if you would join us. We have a support group on Facebook called Team Do Better. It’s private. The only people that are in there are people just like you who are ready to do something different with their money life.
You can also sign up for our newsletter at TheFinanceGym.com or subscribe to our YouTube video series right here and be sure to watch next week when I give my one last final great tip about how to get out of debt.