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Nurturing Well-Being: A Guide to Managing Debt

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

In the United States, consumer debt has reached nearly $5 trillion, as reported by the Federal Reserve. It's a concern that occupies the thoughts of many Americans. In fact, more than six out of ten people have made the admirable decision to prioritize paying down their debt over saving.

The heartening news is that personal debt levels have seen a decline, with average personal debt decreasing by $8,000 since 2019. Even more encouraging is the fact that anyone can take control of their debt by making intentional choices. Here are five nurturing ways to approach debt and its impact on your financial life:

  • Define Your 'Good Debt' and 'Bad Debt': While some may view all debt as negative, it's essential to recognize that certain debts can be helpful in achieving long-term financial goals. Good debt typically carries a low interest rate and can assist in significant life milestones, such as student loans or a mortgage.

  • Get Interested in Interest Rates: If you're unsure where to begin when tackling your debt, start by examining interest rates. Conduct a comprehensive audit of all your debts, considering them as part of a unified plan. Consider refinancing at a lower rate, exploring personal loans, consolidation options, or refinancing student loans. Transferring credit card debt to a card with a 0% introductory rate and no balance transfer fees can also save you money on interest while you work on reducing your debt.

  • Set Your Strategy: After your debt audit, select a repayment strategy that aligns with your unique goals.

  • Debt Snowball: Pay off debts with the smallest balance first, making minimum payments on others. This approach empowers those who find motivation in small victories.

  • Debt Avalanche: Prioritize debts with the highest interest rates while making minimum payments on the rest. This method focuses on efficiency and improving your overall financial standing.

  • Watch for Wealth-Building Opportunities While reducing debt is generally a wise move, there are situations where saving or investing may make more sense. If your debt carries a 3% interest rate but you can earn 5% in a savings account, saving could accelerate your net worth growth. Assess your debts and financial opportunities critically.

  • Managing Debt as Part of a Comprehensive Plan: Achieving a debt-free life and securing your financial future can be a complex journey. It's essential to remember that many paths are available, and they may involve tough decisions. Seeking guidance from a financial adviser can provide clarity on your current spending capacity and future savings goals. This support can help alleviate worries, boost financial confidence, and bring you closer to financial security.

Remember, your journey to financial well-being is unique, and it's one that can be nurtured and guided toward a brighter future. By making thoughtful choices and considering the

steps outlined here, you can take control of your debt and move toward greater financial stability.


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