As a result of our credit card culture, more and more people across the country are facing overwhelming debt and financial disaster. But don't be discouraged. There are steps you can take to achieve financial stability and ensure a bright financial future. Visit your local North Country Savings Bank to talk to one of our experienced banking professionals and discuss your options. Just remember, there is no short-term cure for getting out of debt and managing your finances takes discipline. But it can be done. Start by implementing these five easy steps:
- Develop a Budget and Stick with It - Figure out how you can live within your means and cover your expenses. When it's possible, budget in extra money to set aside each month. And then stick with it. People who have a reasonable budget are less likely to go out and run up a great deal of credit debt.
- Work to Become Debt Free - It will take time, but make an effort to start paying off all your debt. Work on it little by little until you have money left over each month to put away for the future.
- Organize your Finances - A lack of organization can be detrimental to your finances and it's an easy fix. When your bills arrive, keep them in a designated place. Make a note of when each is due and pay it on time to avoid unnecessary late fees. Likewise, frequently balance your check book so you do not overdraw your account.
- Avoid Overspending - Don't spend if you don't have to. If you are going to make a large purchase, make sure that it is a planned purchase. Spend time thinking about it and decide whether you can really afford it. Avoid impulsive shopping– you'll end up buying things you don't need.
- Keep Track of your Credit Report - Your credit report is a good gauge of what is going on in your finances and it is important that you keep track of it. Checking it regularly will not only ensure that the report is correct, but you can also identify problem areas and work to fix them.