The 5 Basic Financial Categories – Part 4
Have you ever wanted to know how much money you spent in a given month on your loans? I have and do. What about knowing how much you have left on each of the loans or debts you have? I’ve learned that there is just some information you should know and have ready at your fingertips, but this just doesn’t happen automatically.
Our History, Our Pain
There was a time that we didn’t know off the top of our head how many debts we had. Just like most we would have to stop, think really hard and make a quick assessment. We have…
a house payment,
debt consolidation loan.
What’s scary is that most people have more loans than the ones I’ve named above. Keep in mind we’re talking about loans and not including the credit card debts. At any rate, here was our problem. We had no way of seeing how much we pay each month or how much was remaining on the debt. We’d have to wait on statements or go to each website to check. How time consuming and counterproductive. Is this you? We needed this information readily available if we were going to make a plan to ever rid ourselves of this debt.
You will find yourself fighting an impossible financial battle if you don’t have a way to see the big picture-all your finances in one place. This is why we use a tool called Mint. It places the information we need about our loans at our fingertips-all in one place. Here are a few pieces of information we needed to know and how we use that information.
Mortgage. Let’s start with our mortgage. That saying “out of sight, out of mind” is so true. We had gotten to a place where we had no idea of what the payment was from year to year. It was changing and we had no way to keep it in front of us. We didn’t have a method to see what percentage of our income this mortgage was taking. We didn’t keep an eye on the remaining balance and most importantly [at least with a mortgage] the interest rate. With Mint, it gives us a way to keep the mortgage in front of us. We can see visually where we are and how we can make an impact on this [what seems to be] never-ending and very large loan. With this focus, we can pray specific prayers to God about how much we have remaining and seek His wisdom on how to keep it from letting our finances get out of control. If I were you, I’d make certain to add your mortgage to your prayer list. Just think about it, what if you were able to eliminate this from your budget? How much different would your life be? Without a plan and certainly without a focus on it, it will remain around for many years to come.
Auto Loans. My wife, Pamela, and I because of Mint [being able to see our finances all in one place] were able to make a financial decision to never have more than one auto loan at one time. So here’s an interesting scenario that occurred. One of our vehicles was totaled due to an accident. The problem was we already had a loan on our other vehicle. After evaluating how much [little in this case] remained, we were able to pay it off in order to stay true to our decision to only have one car payment. Without Mint, this would not have been possible. We knew how much was left and how much time remained to reach the payoff. It was an easy decision. Mint keeps us on track with meeting our goals. Do you know how much of a difference having your finances in front of you makes? It’s worth doing.
BTW – these tips and principles will work for any loan. You just need a system that works for your life, your family, your business.
Today is Friday!
In this fast pace world in which we live, having the information we need is vital. You need the financial information about your loans at your fingertips if you desire to make the best of your life, your family, your business. No one else is monitoring this for you. There’s no staff or personnel who’s responsible for keeping your loans in check and your finances in order. That’s your job. Use whatever tool you have available to execute your family’s plan.