Welcome to week two of the Master Your Money Bootcamp on demystifying your finances! This week we’re focused on managing debt balances.
Exercise 2: Figure out how much you owe, to whom, and at what price
Not all debt is bad, but it can be expensive and, at times, messy. Attention to detail is critical when it comes to getting organized.
Whether you’re carrying a balance on your credit card, paying off a new car, or chipping away at a student loan or mortgage, the best way to manage debt is head on. Being specific about the stakes of your debt — how much you owe and when it’s due — can feel daunting, but it’s key to getting out from under it.
Remember, you don’t need to be debt-free to be good with money, but you do need to be in control.
The goal for this week: To get a clear picture of all your financial liabilities. You need this information to make a plan for paying off your debt.
1. Open up a spreadsheet or get out a blank sheet of paper and write down all the financial categories where you hold debt, such as:
- Credit cards
- Home loans
- Student loans
- Auto loans
- Personal loans
2. Go through each category and write down the bank, credit union, or another lender that falls under each one. For example, the US Department of Education might be listed under student loans, while Chase Bank might be listed under credit cards.
3. Under each lender, write down the following:
- Your balance as of a specific date
- Your interest rate or annual percentage rate (APR)
- Your minimum payment
- Your payment due date
As a reminder, here’s what you’ll accomplish in this month’s Bootcamp (we’ll link to each exercise as it goes live):
For each exercise, you’ll get a detailed explanation of how to complete it and why it’s important. Use the hashtags #MasterYourMoney and #MasterYourMoneyBootcamp to share your thoughts, progress, and connect with others across our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram as you make your way through each exercise, then join us for the live events.