Is Debt Always A Bad Thing?

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Could debt actually improve your life? Image licensed under Creative Commons.

Is debt always a bad thing? Many of us automatically assume debt is a hugely negative state of affairs, and while it’s true that unmanageable debt is frightening, it may surprise you to learn that some debt is actually positive. Often treated as a dirty word, most of us can’t avoid having some form of debt, while some try to actively avoid it.

And yet not all debt is created equal. There are some positive forms that could help you reach your goals quickly. You just have to know how to use it. Here’s how the right kind of debt can get you ahead of the financial game…

Debt Can Help You Make Money

It may sound hard to believe, but the right kind of debt really can help you to make money. The key is not to go into debt for consumer items you couldn’t otherwise afford, like that designer bag or new iPhone. Instead, use debt as a powerful tool to help you reach your life goals. Invest in an asset – like a house or apartment or even for something like doing an MBA and you’ll be channelling money into something that will pay you back. If you’re clever about the property you buy – selecting an up and coming area, negotiating a good purchase price armed with data from sites like MousePrice– then the value will rise over time. When you’re ready to sell, you will have accumulated a profit, even with the mortgage balance to settle. If you go into debt knowing that you’ll get greater value out of it further down the line then it’s a positive investment.

It Can Be Cost Effective For Purchases

Interest rates are at historic lows right now, so if you want to do something like buying a car, it’s actually better to use credit to make the purchase than dipping into savings and investments. If you have money in tax free savings like ISAs or even stocks and bonds, it doesn’t make sense to cancel out the returns you get from them in order to make a purchase. Considering your overall financial picture, you’re better off using credit to pay – especially if you lose tax benefits by liquidating an asset.

You Can Fill In Cash Flow Gaps

For those who have a portfolio career, are self-employed or starting their own business or work in a job that is highly dependent on commission, life often involves a fluctuating income. When used responsibly, short-term loans can get you through time periods where cashflow is lean – provided you use the boom times to pay them off. This regular repayment schedule will also help to build a really good credit rating, as lenders can see a history of responsible borrowing. You will then be offered better rates, reducing the overall cost of borrowing. This creates a virtuous circle of good credit that benefits your financial situation.

Debt doesn’t have to be an intimidating or shameful prospect- if you learn to use it responsibly, it can really be a force for good in your life.


How To Be In Control Of Your Own Money

Being in control of your own money is very important if you want to make sure that you avoid any sort of unmanageable debt. You should always know where your money is going and how much you have to live on each month. In this article, we are going to help you with understanding how you can be in control of your own money. Make sure to keep reading if you’d like to find out more.

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Know What You Have

First of all, you need to make sure that you know exactly what you have each month to spend. This is very important as you won’t be able to be in control if you don’t know what you have to work with. Make sure to take a look at your bank statements and if you have a joint account, discuss with your partner how much you both spend each month. This can help you figure out what you need to control and how to control it.

Use Online Banking

One of the best ways to stay in control of your own money is to use online banking. Opening a bank account online is really easy and when you do, you’ll be able to view up to date information about the money that is in your account. If you have an online bank account, you should make sure to check it at different intervals throughout the month to ensure that you know how much you are spending. You would be surprised at how much the little amounts can add up to.

Make Cutbacks

When you start to see how much money you are spending every month, you will know what you are spending money on unnecessarily. This is a good way to figure out what you can make cutbacks on. Write a list of things that you spend too much money on and set yourself some goals to spend less money on that every month. For example, if you find that your daily coffee is amounting to a high figure, you should try and have one or two less a week. Once you make these cutbacks you will feel in control of your money and you will be happier with your bank account in the end.

Give Yourself An Allowance

Our final tip for those who want to be in control of their own money is to do something which a lot of parents do to teach kids the value of money – giving an allowance. You should allocate yourself a certain amount of money to spend each week and if you do this successfully, you will feel more in control of your money. A great way to do this is to take out cash each week and only spend that cash on your day-to-day purchases. Give yourself an allowance and feel more in control of your money.

Follow our tips if you want to stay in control of your money.




Here’s How You Avoid Debt on Your Credit Card

If you know that you have a lot of debt on your credit card then you will know how frustrating this can be. You will also know how hard it can be to try and pay it off before you accumulate more debt and this can put you in a very dire situation. Luckily, it is very easy for you to avoid debt and if you make the effort to follow these simple tips then you should have no problem getting on top of your debt once and for all.

Always have an Emergency Fund

So many people manage to create credit card debt because they were forced to pay an expense that they did not have the money for. They have absolutely no room for savings but if you were to have an emergency fund then this can really help you to avoid credit card debt. You can easily use the cash to pay for any emergencies that arise and this is a fantastic way for you to really stay on top of everything. Of course, if you are struggling to save then one thing that you can do is put some money away every single month. When you are able to do this, you can then accumulate a savings fund without having to struggle or manually put the money away. There are also many apps out there that you can use to try and really save on your expenses so these are well worth looking into.

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Charge What You Can Afford

You have to avoid the mistake of using one of your credit cards to buy things that you cannot afford. You can easily avoid debt by purchasing the things that you know you can afford or even things that you have the cash for. If you cannot afford to pay with cash then it is important to know that you can’t charge it to your card. If you do have to charge to your card then try and look up as this is a great way for you to find out if it is possible for you to get a lower interest rate when compared to the one that you have on your credit card.

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Avoid Balance Transfers

Don’t transfer any balances that you have on your card so that you can avoid your payment date. The main reason for this is because if you transfer one of your balances to another credit card then you have to have a good reason for this. You may want to take advantage of a lower interest rate or you may even get a cash incentive. Either way, if you don’t do this then your bank will carry on increasing in debt and this is the last thing that you need when you already have so much going on. Of course, if you want to avoid this then there are so many things that you can do, such as researching the card before you buy and even putting in the work to make sure that you are getting the best deal.

Financial Priorities – debt-worthy must have tech

The US economy is booming, and so too is the stock market, thanks in part to the performance of Apple and its signature product: the iPhone. Millions of people have wanted one for over a decade now, and demand still appears strong. Even renowned old-school investor Warren Buffett, whose company Berkshire Hathaway now owns a big stake in Apple, has even called the iPhone “indispensable” to many.

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But has our love affair with the latest and greatest tech – the iPhone in particular – gone too far? The results of a new survey from the personal-finance website WalletHub indicates that might be the case, at least for many young consumers.

Roughly 28 million Americans believe that getting one of 2018’s new iPhones is worth going into debt. That opinion is especially pronounced among millennials as well as slightly older consumers. More than 18% of people under the age of 45 say a new iPhone is debt-worthy, compared to 5% of those who are 45+ years old. have they got their financial priorities in order?

On the one hand, a new iPhone could be perceived as a good investment in an increasingly mobile economy, when a person’s social media presence can directly affect their ability to put money in the bank. “iPhones are becoming more than phones. They are quite functional little computers,” said Lewis S. Davis, an associate professor of economics at Union College. “Economically, it makes sense to go into debt for items that deliver services over several years. … If you tend to get a new phone every three years, however, then you shouldn’t take out a five-year loan to pay for it.”

In many young people’s minds, the decision to incur debt to get a new iPhone may simply come down to which impacts daily life more. Debt is expensive, both in terms of interest owed and our ability to borrow for more important things in the future. But a cutting-edge smart phone provides a world of possibilities right now.

Those are also big reasons why 44% of millennials believe their cell phone has a bigger impact on their life than their credit score. But are they right?

“Their cell phones do have a big impact on their lives day-to-day, which, when summed over the course of their lives probably does outweigh the impact of their credit score,” said Arthur Caplan, a professor of applied economics at Utah State University. Of course, for those millennials who are planning to own a home, a car and other things that we typically acquire debt for, then they may want to rethink their financial priorities.”

That’s important because even though the economy is doing well overall, not everything about our finances has been fine in recent years. In particular, credit card debt and student loan debt have hit record highs, putting pressure on the very people who now seem comfortable borrowing to get a cool phone.

New study: the best & worst states at managing debt

In the process of reaching your life goals, you might accumulate debt along the way. Millions of Americans carry student loans, credit card debt, and mortgages. One important factor many don’t consider is how geographic location impacts your overall debt burden.

A recent study released by Credible looked at 540,000 borrowers from all 50 U.S. states analyzing the average monthly debt payment (credit card, student loan and housing). The information about debt-to-income ratios gives us an idea about which states might provide you a financial advantage.

New study: the best & worst states at managing debt - States map image

Low Debt-to-Income States

According to the report, Michigan, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri had the lowest debt-to-income ratios. For example, Michigan residents spent just 25.3% of their monthly income on credit card, student loan, and housing payments. Michigan had the best score of all in the study.

High Debt-to-Income States

On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Montana had the highest average debt-to-income ratios. If you live in Hawaii, you spend an average of 36.2% of your monthly income on debt payments. That means for the average annual income of $56,889 in Hawaii, $20,593 goes towards loan payments. Hawaiians pay more debt per dollar earned than any other state in the country.

What Causes the Difference?

Are Hawaiians spend happy and residents of Michigan frugal by nature? Maybe, but the full explanation for the differences probably has more to do with macroeconomic factors in each state. In Michigan, the lower cost of living shows up as lower housing, credit card, and student loan payments. Needless to say, housing costs in the Hawaiian islands are very high.

Where You Live Affects Your Debt Load

Where you live affects your debt burden, and the data proves this point. All other things being equal, the state you live in can have a significant impact on your financial health.

Read the Credible report: Burdened by Debt: The Best and Worst States at Managing Debt.