LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Fall is a critical time to check in on your finances, especially this year as credit card debt hits a new record, and federal student loan payments have resumed.
With kids back in school full swing – and after-school music lessons, sporting activities,
fundraisers and celebrations on the horizon family finance expert Andrea Woroch said it’s important to rebalance your budget.
“I really like using an app like Mint, it categorizes all your expenses. They link all your financial accounts in one place and we actually suggest a budget for you,” she said.
Woroch added that prioritizing paying down any credit card debt before the expensive holiday season rolls around so you don’t dig yourself into a deeper hole.
If you want to pay off debt faster – apply for a zero-percent balance transfer card.
Those credit cards can offer up to 21 months for you to pay down your balance without any interest piling up.
Doing so can help you get out of debt faster and save more money over time. You can compare balance transfer cards at Cardrates.com.
I would look for the one with the longest no-interest term as well as the one that meets your credit rating.
Preparing now for holiday gifting can be key to avoiding debt later.
Another option is drafting a gift list with an approximate budget per person and tapping into apps such as Santa’s Bag to help manage purchases and total spending throughout the season.
Shopping now is wise as you can take advantage of popular deals during Amazon Prime Day, Oct. 10 – 11.
“We know competitors like Target and Walmart, and even Best Buy are going to be hosting their own sales around the same time. So this would be a really good opportunity to jumpstart your holiday shopping,” she advised. “What I like about buying gifts early in the season is that it spreads out purchases over a few weeks, several weeks leading up to black Friday so that you don’t feel that entire pressure in your budget come December trying to buy everything at the last minute.”
She also suggested socking away $25 a week starting now for each child, which will give you $300 to spend on each child.