Excerpts from story by Bankrate’s Kendall Little Survey: 3 in 10 Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings
“You never want to say, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow,’” says Glenn Brown, a financial planner and founder of PlanDynamic in Massachusetts. “You should be doing it today.”
Brown recommends looking at your expenses to find where you can cut back.
“Let’s look at the big four: shelter, transportation, food and social,” he says. “Those are your major four expenses.” Start looking for ways you can reduce these main expenses and you’ll be able to start paying off your debt rather than contributing to it.
Begin making a significant dent in your existing credit card debt by opening a balance transfer card with zero percent interest for an introductory period. You should consider cards with low or no transfer fees and an introductory period that works best with what you’re able to pay.
Most people won’t have three to six months’ expenses waiting to be added to savings, but you can start by contributing a small amount to your account monthly or every two weeks. Small, regular payments can quickly add up.
Once you’ve eliminated your credit card debt, use the money you were putting toward those payments to build your emergency savings more quickly.