Many Americans are carrying several types of credit balances, ranging from mortgages and car payments to credit card debt and student loans. Facing high balances can make many adults feel overwhelmed when it comes to managing and chipping away at thousands of dollars in debt payments. However, there are several debt management tools and resources that often go unused because individuals either are not aware they exist or dismiss the merits of using them.
The counselors at Consolidated Credit explain debt management resources are an effective way for consumers to keep tabs on their balances and payments, they also provide consumers with a better understanding of where their money is going and how changes in their spending could help them tackle debt.
One of the most effective, yet overlooked tools, many adults know about but do not employ is a monthly budget. Keeping a money management spreadsheet of expenses vs. income can help adults set spending parameters that ensure all of their financial obligations have been met and they are not living beyond their means. Many adults may feel constrained by a budget, but the opposite is actually true. By knowing how much they can afford to spend each month, it allows them to make better decisions about their purchases and track their progress in paying down their debt totals.
Mobile apps have also become a new debt management tool that adults of all ages and income brackets are turning toward. There are several money management apps that help consumers track their spending, balance their checkbooks and send balance notifications to help adults avoid overspending. But in addition, mobile apps are also being used to help individuals save money on basic necessities, such as groceries and gas, and discretionary purchases, such as clothing and electronics. This can be a cost-effective and timely way to receive coupons, discounts and other perks to combat rising food and gas costs, giving individuals more money to pay down other balances.
Lastly, many Americans discount the professional services that are at their disposal to help them manage their debt. Credit counseling services, financial advisors and housing experts can all provide guidance and advice on the best strategies to pay off balances and start saving money. Professionals can also provide individuals with budgeting resources, tutorials and other financial literacy tools to help educate them about all of their money management options.