How to Build Up Savings AND Pay Down Debt at the Same Time

Friday, September 23, 2016

"I need to build up my savings fund but I also need to pay off my debt so how can I do them at the same time? "

I get this question A LOT when it comes to fixing finances.   And I'm not just saying that because it's the name of my finance book (shameless plug)! While it's very important to build up an emergency fund before paying down your debt full force, the two are equally important.  

You see, if you don't have a decent savings fund, you're going to continue borrowing money.  And the more money you borrow, the more you have to pay off and so you can't get focus on building up your savings. 

So I have a few pieces of advice if you'd like to do both at the same time.  Obviously you won't be able to build up a huge savings fund or pay off your debt super fast but you'll make leeway on both.

[Split Extra Income Each Month]
Any extra income you make each month whether it's from overtime at work or selling things on eBay, you need to split the profit between your savings and your debt.  I say this because if you alternate each month, putting it towards your debt one month, and towards your savings another month, time won't go quick enough and you won't feel like you're making any real progress and progress is what motivates us to keep going.

[DO NOT Use Credit Cards]
Trust me.  Hide them.  Take them out of your wallet and keep them in a secure spot at home.  This is the only surefire way to guarantee that you won't reach for them as an impulse.  It's easier to build your savings back up than it is to pay off debt in most cases so if you are in a bind for an EMERGENCY situation, take from your savings fund.  But whatever you do, don't rack up any more debt.

[Track Your Progress]
It's always a good idea to make some short of chart (just like the fundraising ones where you color in how far you are towards reaching your goal) to reflect the progress you make.  No matter how small, progress is progress and you should be happy.  I used a debt thermometer that I found on Google and that's what I would color in to reflect how close I was to being debt free.  The act of coloring it in is very rewarding even if it's just a sliver.  You can have a separate chart to show how close you are to reaching your savings goal.  And if you don't have a savings goal, set a small one.

[Limit Your Spending]
Other than emergencies, it's very crucial that you limit all of your spending, even if it's a regular expense that you can consider a luxury.  Pedicures are great but saving $30 each month that can go towards your savings will help you make progress. 

[Resume Your Plan]
Once you have your savings fund built up a bit more, you can eventually re-focus all your work on paying off debt.  You'll once again start making bigger progress.

Remember, doing these at the same time is only temporary.  You'll make better progress if you get yourself situated again with a healthy savings fund (so you don't have to borrow money in emergencies) and then you can resume your debt snowball

Make sure you get your FREE Finance Spreadsheets here!

Be sure to join my Facebook group, Fixing Your Finances, to help you with your finance journey along the way. 

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1 comment:

  1. These are great tips. Send prayer you way for your Grace.


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