In February 2021, Elon Musk created a surge of public interest in Bitcoin after he bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency. He also announced plans to accept it as payment for Tesla vehicles. Now, many people are thinking of using their $1,400 stimulus check for investments, including investments in cryptocurrency.
While there’s nothing wrong with investing your stimulus check, provided you’ve taken care of all your living expenses, it might be better to use any extra money in a more strategic way.
First, pay off your credit card debts because the high interest on your credit cards will compound, causing you to go even deeper into debt. Next, create a savings account, using your stimulus money to start it. Only after you’ve taken care of your debt and built up a reserve of money, should you try to grow your wealth through investing.
Here are a few tips on how to manage your credit card debt and improve your personal finances.
Eliminate Your Debt
If you’ve been struggling with high credit card debt for some time now, then the best thing you can do is find an efficient way to pay it off.
This is important because you don’t want the size of the debt to grow because of the cost of the high interest rates that get added to your balance when you fall behind in your monthly payments.
One effective way to eliminate your debt is to pay off all your credit cards with a consolidated loan, which is a loan that you can get from private lenders like Hawkeye Associates. A consolidated loan will allow you to pay off all your credit cards immediately so that you are completely free of the monthly burden of trying to come up with the money you owe every month and the frustration of incurring financial penalties when you fall behind.
Once you qualify for a consolidated loan, the lender will deposit the money into your bank account so that you can use it to pay off all the credit card companies. After paying off your creditors, you will now make monthly payments to the lender, a fixed amount for the duration of the loan, which usually ranges from two to seven years.
Pay Yourself Before Others
When you pay yourself first a small percentage, ranging from 5% to 10%, from your salary, you will be able to create a savings account.
This idea might seem daunting if you feel you won’t be able to get many of the things you want or need every month — but it is possible to stretch your dollar if you try.
If you get a direct deposit, just ask your employer to send a designated percentage of your salary to your savings account.
Here are two good reasons to save to improve your financial life:
1. Save for an Emergency
Having an emergency fund will help you help yourself if you ever have an emergency, perhaps something unexpected like your car breaking down or a pipe in your home leaking.
When you have an emergency account:
- You will not feel helpless if some unexpected expense occurs.
- You will not inconvenience family and friends by borrowing money to handle the emergency.
- You will not have to get a high-interest loan from your bank.
When you start your savings plan with your stimulus check, don’t put your money into a low-interest paying savings account. Instead, put it in a money market account, certificate of deposit, or high-interest savings account to earn more interest.
2. Save to Invest
When you invest wisely, your money will make more money for you. While you are saving to invest, spend your time learning how to invest. For instance, if you decide to invest in the stock market, buy a few online courses to learn how to do it well.
You can build your wealth by eliminating debt and saving. While it’s always a good idea to invest any money that you receive, it’s better to focus on putting it into a savings account. Only later, after you’ve got enough in your savings account, should you invest.