Are you concerned that you’re carrying too much debt? Do you worry about the way in which it’ll impact your finances in the near and long-term?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, your primary concern is probably your ability to stay current with your payments in the future. However, it’s important that you also realize that too much debt can affect you in ways that you may be overlooking.
Consider the following:
1. Retirement savings
Even if you have enough income to pay all of your monthly liabilities, it doesn’t mean you should be okay with your debt load. The more money that you spend each month servicing debt the less money you have to save for retirement. So, while you may not feel the pain right now, there will come a time down the road when you realize that you made a big mistake.
Don’t put your retirement on the back burner in exchange for “things” that you want to buy in the here and now.
2. Your child’s education
There’s no law saying that you have to save money for your child’s future education, but many people make it one of their top financial goals.
In the same manner as saving for retirement, money spent on servicing debt is money that you can’t save for your child’s education.
3. Future purchases
Do you have the goal of one day purchasing a vacation home? How about taking a dream trip to another country? What about buying a sports car?
You get the point. These are all big purchases that generally require saving money over an extended period of time. If you’re serious about making a big purchase in the future — no matter what it may be — you need to set savings goals. Unfortunately, when you’re throwing all your disposable money each month to pay down debt, it holds you back from saving for these purchases.
What can you do?
The first thing you should do is forget about the past and focus on the future. You can’t go back in time. You can’t take back your purchases. You can only deal with the circumstances of today to ensure a better tomorrow.
Some of the things you should consider include:
- Negotiating your debt when applicable.
- Debt consolidation.
- Balance transfer credit card.
- Paying yourself first.
- Setting up a separate account for savings.
When you understand the ways in which too much debt can affect you, it’s easier to take the steps necessary to avoid trouble.