The United States budget deficit, impacted by necessary spending during the coronavirus outbreak, has now hit $3.1 trillion, an amount so large, an economist needs a PowerPoint to explain it. But, in brief, a trillion is a million times a million–enough money to buy everyone in San Francisco a luxury apartment or enough one-dollar bills to circle the earth 3,803 times.
Although the size of the deficit may seem like an abstraction, it affects you, the consumer, increasing your cost of living and increasing the interest rates on your credit cards.
To help debt-ridden consumers, Harrison Funding recommends consumers restructure debts, set inspiring financial goals, and create a budget.
Restructure Your Credit Card Debt
You can pay off multiple debts faster by rolling them into a single account. Getting a consolidated loan will clear all your credit cards, allowing you to just focus on repaying your loan in monthly installments.
Since credit cards have variable interest rates, changing according to market conditions, it’s better to pay a consolidated loan, which is based on a fixed rate, which doesn’t fluctuate based on market conditions. In short, a variable interest loan, like a credit card, is more expensive than a fixed interest loan, like a consolidated loan. Replacing your credit card repayment plan with a consolidated loan repayment plan will make it easier to pay off your debt faster.
Another advantage of getting a consolidated loan is that it will simplify your bookkeeping. Instead of writing multiple checks many times a month, you will write a single check once a month.
Set Inspiring Financial Goals
Goals help you become more intentional about important things. If, for instance, you have a weight loss goal, you’ll become more intentional about what you eat and eventually hit your weight loss goal.
A financial goal works in the same way. Setting a financial goal will make you more intentional about how you manage your money.
An overarching financial goal, such as, “I will earn $40,000 in 12 months’ time,” can be broken up into subgoals. What will you do when you earn $40,000 a year? Will you create an emergency fund? Are you going to start planning your retirement nest egg? Will you buy a new car? Will you make the leap from renting an apartment to owning your own home?
Setting financial goals will inspire you to change your life for the better.
Create a Budget
A budget helps you manage your money well. When you don’t have a budget, your financial decisions hinge on an educated guess. When you shop or dine out, you don’t know when you’re overspending and when you’re staying within comfortable limits.
The accuracy of your guess about your bank balance depends on your memory of the last time you checked it. Since it’s inconvenient to look up your available balance every time you buy any product or use any service, you have to rely on memory. Even if you have impeccable recall, you could still be way off because automatic payments may have lowered your available balance. When you create a budget, you take out the guesswork about how much you should spend.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to create a budget to regulate your monthly income and expenses. You’ll discover that a budget is a useful financial tool because it makes it far easier for you to stay on track every single month. And, at the end of the month, you’ll know exactly where your money went. What’s even better is that you can adjust your budget from one month to the next based on the consequences of your spending decisions.
To sum up, the U.S. budget deficit affects the economy, which in turn affects your personal finances. But despite the staggering $3.1 trillion U.S. deficit, you can still improve your financial situation by reducing your debt, setting financial goals, and creating a budget.