FOX – WOFL
What’s more important to you? Your Weight or your Debt?
If you are like an overwhelming majority of Americans then you likely are more concerned with what you see in the mirror than the amount of credit debt you currently have. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by Credit Karma, if given the choice between gaining 25 pounds and keeping their current debt, almost ¾ of Americans (72% to be exact) said they would rather stay slim and broke than gain weight and debt-free!
Forty-three percent of respondents agreed that “how much I weigh is more important than how much debt I have.”
Believe it or not, this was a more popular answer among men than women, with 49% of male participants agreeing to the statement compared to 38% of female ones.
When it was a question of weight gain or bankruptcy, 62% said they would rather be overweight but debt-free than thin and saddled with loans. However, 38% still said they’d prefer being their “ideal weight,” even if it meant dealing with bankruptcy.
The survey also found that about one-third of adults worry more about their outward appearance than how much money they owe.
Source: Daily News
Paying with plastic can add on the pounds!
Dieters, watch out: paying with plastic at the grocery store can make you more likely to load up your cart with donuts, ice cream, potato chips and other fattening foods.
Studies have shown that when shoppers pay with credit or debit cards, they buy about 40 percent more unhealthy foods than those who pay with cash.
Put your debt on a diet
- Pay on time: Making sure you pay your bills on time is VERY important. Not only can delinquent payment hurt your credit score, but late fees are expensive and only add to your debt. In addition to the negitive effect on your credit rating and the addition of late charges to your existing debt, late payments may encourage or entitle your credit card company to raise your interest rate! Higher interest means higher payments and even MORE debt!
- Prioritize your payments: Once you’ve stopped adding to the problem you can now focus on getting rid of the debt you’ve accumulated. The first step I recommend to my clients is to look at your credit card balances. Some advisors would tell you to pay off the highest interest rate first, but I recommend starting with the card that has the smallest balance. Once you see what a great motivator it is to be able to cut up a credit card, you’ll want to move on to the next one. Paying off credit cards from smallest to largest creates a snowball effect and will help you stay on-task to keep paying off your remaining cards.
- Get a lower rate: Credit card companies are just that… Companies. Although they have a funny way of showing it, they understand that keeping their customers (you the card holder) happy is important! If your credit is good-to-decent, you may want to consider shopping around to your other credit card companies, or even a new credit card provider for a lower rate. Often times credit card companies will offer low introductory rates on balance transfers and new purchases within a certain time period. Look for an option that offers a low (or lower than your current) interest rate on balance transfers for the life of the balance, and be wary of credit cards who’s rates on balance transfers only last a short period of time.
- Ask for help: Credit card companies want you to pay you bill, so they’re often willing to work with their customers to make it easier to pay down debt. If you’re overwhelmed, or are experiencing a financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, or a death in the family, ask about setting up a repayment plan.
- Stop adding to the problem: Your goal of paying off your debt will never be within your reach if you continue to create new debt. Continuing to add credit card debt, even while trying to pay off debt is like taking two steps forward, and then three steps back and is not progress, but rather retrogress. The best thing you can do is create a spending and expense budget. Only until you are able to track your spending, and can see where all your hard earned money is going, will you be able to “trim the fat” by eliminating the expenses you can do without. Click Here to download a budget worksheet to help you get started!