I’m in Debt. Can I Still Invest Now?
Is there a time period when anyone should not invest in themselves? Hmm. I actually can’t think of any. I think every person deserves the opportunity to improve his or her circumstances ANYTIME. It’s just that everyone has a different starting point. Where do you fit in this picture? Perhaps you are struggling to make ends meet every month. Your investment in yourself would be to stretch every dollar and penny and look to increase your income if possible. If you are in debt, get yourself out. It will take some time, but it will be so worth it.
Find Resources for Help If Needed
There are many resources to help you on the right path to get out of debt. Here is a basic but golden list to get you started:
Use a Budget
Make a budget. I used the GoodBudget app, created my budget, and kept track of my spending. I also liked adding my expenses right at the point of transaction. Then I didn’t have to go back at some point and enter a bunch at a time. It made it easy to track how I was doing.
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Cook at Home
Eat home cooked meals. I bought a recipe book with really cheap meals. Four children to feed can get expensive. One entire year I made bread for my family. Then I had our second child… After that I bought bread at a bakery outlet store.
Try the Snowball Effect with Credit Cards
Take a deep breath and look at all your debts. Pay off the smallest balance first, then start on the next one, adding the first payment to the second. ALWAYS pay at least the minimum balance on the other ones while you are snowballing the payoffs. You don’t want to lose your gains by getting hit with higher interest rates and penalties as well as take a credit score hit.
Find your budget bleeds – where do you spend money regularly that might be an extra expense that could be cut while you reduce your debt? Don’t forget to check those subscriptions that annually renew. I finally cut my MyFitness Pal subscription because I wasn’t using the extra features. The free version works just fine for me. Those can really add up.
Keep Searching for Forgotten Expenses
Be creative in finding other ways to save. A friend was paying for a storage unit at $100 a month just to store a riding lawn mower that came to him when his dad passed. He wasn’t ready to deal with it at the time so it just got moved there. But those things get forgotten and pretty soon you’ve paid $1200 in a year for something that isn’t even worth that much.
Those audio books I’ve been listening to during exercise? I didn’t realize it was costing me $18/month for the Audible app. That is going to go! My free audio books through Amazon Prime don’t make up for that monthly expense
Create Some Extra Income
Pick up a side hustle or get a seasonal, part-time job. For a while I taught a few piano and flute students privately for a little extra money even when I was a full-time teacher. Currently I teach recorder lessons to children at a Boys and Girls Club once a week. Another friend became an Uber driver until she paid off a debt. She picked up passengers to and from her work which she had to go to anyway. A colleague of mine makes items to sell on Etsy. Pizza delivery is in demand as well. With the entire world online, there are unlimited possibilities. Just don’t get so busy that you start ordering out because you don’t plan or have the time to cook at home and literally eat your profits.
These are just suggestions. Here’s the bottom line. Before you start investing in stocks or other types of investments, you need to be out of debt and have a savings cushion. Otherwise you will try to force your investments to get yourself out of tight situations and that just leads to bad judgment. If you are super anxious to start learning how to trade, you can sign up with a demo account and practice with virtual money. Then once you have your own money, you’ll already have some virtual experience under your belt. See How Much Money Do I Need to Start Investing?
Until next time,
Linda Davis (“Publisher”) provides this website (www.stockmarketgal.com) for informational purposes only. All information on this website is information of a general nature and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or entity or on any specific security or investment product. In reading this website, you understand that Publisher is not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value, or suitability of any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, investment strategy or other matter. In making an investment decision, each investor must rely on his, her or its own examination of the investment, including the merits and risks involved, should consult with his, her or its own investment, trading, financial, legal, tax, accounting and other advisors, and should not construe any information on this website as investment, trading, financial, legal, tax, accounting or other advice. From time to time, Publisher or her affiliates may hold positions in securities discussed on this website and will disclose those positions if applicable, but neither Publisher nor any of her affiliates receives any compensation from the issuers of any securities discussed. Publisher does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information provided, either expressly or impliedly, and expressly disclaims all warranties of any kind.