MADE Magazine #MADEBlueprint - Page 27

you don’t know what you’re working with. 2. Find A Payment Strategy That Works For You. Now that you have a full outlook on your finances, decide how you want to pay everything off. Experian recommends paying off the cards with the highest interest rates first, but if that doesn’t work for you, start with the smallest balance first. This way you’ll be able to see the progress toward eliminating bills right away. It’s important to make payments on time, and if possible, pay more than the minimum payment. The Gift of Financial Freedom Don’t make the same money mistakes in 2018. Check out these helpful tips from Dominique Broadway to avoid holiday overspending from happening again… Create a budget. “Be realistic and make a list of people that you want to give gifts to and once you make that list, you cannot change it. People will say, ‘Oh no, she bought me a gift. Let me get her some- thing.’ That’s not what gift–giving is about. It’s about me gifting you with something without expecting something in exchange. Make a budget and be realistic about how much you can spend.” 3. Stop Spending Money Carelessly. This is easier said than done, but it’s really necessary to put yourself on a financial diet if you want to get your finances in order. Avoid buying items that you don’t need, and if you are buying essentials, find ways to save money by using coupons and comparison shopping. Those small changes will make a big difference in your monthly budget. The money you save by cutting back can go toward paying down your debt or past due bills. 4. Use Tax Returns and Holiday Bonuses Wisely. Don’t make the mistake of looking at these two lump sums of money as free money to spend. Some people will use this money to fund shopping sprees or go on trips, but you have to be intentional about changing your spending habits. Take full advantage of the opportunity to make a dent in your debt or save for next year’s holiday expenses. Avoid Using Your Credit Card For Gift Purchases. “While making a budget, make sure that it doesn’t include your credit card. Make a budget and spend only what you can afford to pay off before the holidays. Because what you don’t want to do is take in this holiday debt into the next year. Also, start early.” Don’t Sleep On Coupons. “Use coupons or tools like E-Bates—they give you a percentage back. I’ll get a quarterly payment of $50 to $100. So, it’s cool because it’s money that you’re getting back from shopping online.” For more financial advice from Dominique Broadway, visit her website and follow her @dominiquebroad- way. For more info on credit and getting yourself out of debt, visit | 27