Buying a home. Going to college. Owning a cabin. We also want to help people live securely with checking, savings, and lending solutions that work with the pace and budgets of their lives.
Sometimes this means we help someone take out a loan. Sometimes it means we help them pay one off. It means something different for each person we work with. Wherever you are in life, we’ve discovered a timeless principle of money management:
If you can’t afford the life you have, it’s going to be very difficult to ever afford the life you want.
If you’ve got too much debt, or the wrong kind of debt, in your name, it can be hard to move in the direction you want to go. If you have the wrong financial habits, it can be hard to make the right financial moves.
So let us give some tips that our bankers help people with everyday.
2/3 of homeowners in America owe something on their mortgage, so this isn’t saying that you shouldn’t take out a loan. Instead, it means that you should be weighing the kind of debt you’re taking out with the goals that you have for your life. Financing the home of your dreams is going to be harder if you’re over-extended in debt on cars, credit cards, or other debt. You can eliminate the kinds of bad debt that hold you back in a variety of ways.
Maybe it’s cutting out a gym membership that you don’t use (though you keep meaning to) and one or two less meals out per month. Maybe it’s selling the expensive clutter in your garage or selling the crafts you’ve been putting together. Maybe it’s scrap metal collection or less caramel macchiatos. Whatever you have to do, find an extra $200 in your life each month, and apply that money to your debt. After you’ve paid off a loan, apply the $200 plus whatever you were paying on the previous loan to attack the next loan. Do this until you’re out from under the debt.
Financially successful people do not spend more than they have.
That’s really all we have to say about that point. If you’re in the habit of consistently spending more than you have each month, try to establish a few new guidelines in your life. Do the hard work of inspecting your monthly expenses to find what you can cut out. If you can find a few practical ways to cut down your spending, you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. Maybe it’s a few less meals out a month. Maybe it’s cutting out unplanned purchases, replacing an expensive habit, or cutting out that previously mentioned gym membership that you’ve been paying for but not using.
However you choose to cut down on your spending, it won’t be long before you start to see changes to your monthly balances.
By saving a little bit each month, you are setting yourself up for success when unexpected expenses come your way. Car repairs. Medical bills. The unexpected trip out of town. Having an emergency fund will allow you to stay ahead of surprises. You can pay your unforeseen bills and then over the next months, pay yourself back into that emergency fund, rather than paying back a line of credit.
Talk to one of our bankers about a savings plan that works for your family.
Affording your life isn’t always about making more money. It’s often about having the right habits in place to set you up for success. At First Independent Bank, we’re here to help you do that.