Happy Leap Day! Every four years, we end up with an extra day in February. An extra day could mean more money to you. So what could you be doing with unexpected income? Here are a few suggestions for Leap Day money moves.
Leap Day Money Moves: Debt Reduction & Savings
Any opportunity to make some extra cash can help your personal finances. Leap Day may not be the only extra day during the year that brings in more income. Did you already budget those months where you get an extra bi-weekly paycheck? Or those days where you could take an extra shift on your day off? It’s time to make the most of those chances to help with debt reduction or savings.
Applying Extra Income to Debt Reduction
Debt reduction is the first Leap Day money moves. Your efforts can be maximized by using the right strategy. Here are two strategies that can help you eliminate credit card debt.
The Debt Avalanche:
- Pay debts in order of interest
- Start with the highest interest
The Debt Snowball:
- Pay debts in order of balance
- Start with the smallest balance
For each debt reduction method, focus on paying off one balance at a time while making minimum payments on your other debts.
The quicker you can eliminate debt, the less money you will spend on interest over time. To calculate your own debt reduction numbers, use this Debt Payoff Calculator.
Building Savings with Extra Income
When you have eliminated credit card debt, apply any extra income to building savings. You won’t make a killing on interest with these extra deposits, but every penny does count. It’s also a good idea to include savings into your monthly budget. By contributing money monthly, you will gain discipline in your personal finances.
Savings goals can be a general fund, something for emergencies, or a specific goal, like buying a kayak or going to Disney. Whatever the goal is, develop it as a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely).
So the next time you get a little extra money, consider debt reduction and building a saving as options to improve your overall personal finances by leaps and bounds.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session today.