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I have recently received money from a deceased relative. We may be moving in the next year to a more expense area of the country (D.C). Do I save the money in the bank for moving time/closing costs for new home? Do I pay off bills and lower our debt ratio to try to get a better rate on a new house? Or do I put it towards my current mortgage to increase equity when we sell our home? I don't know the must efficient way to use the extra money.
I'd suggest paying off bills to lower the debt ratio. Also, if you're moving to the D.C. area (which now basically stretches from Fredericksburg, VA, to Front Royal, VA, to past Baltimore, MD....) I'd suggest looking for a place near mass transit (the Metro, the VRE), and making sure your car(s) are in excellent condition. Housing near D.C. can be as much as 4-5x as expensive as the equivalent house 2 hours away. Longer drive, cheaper house, higher gas bills... More expensive house, quicker commute, if you're lucky you won't have to drive at all, but can use the trains...
Your mortgage is probably getting the best interest rate so leave it be... I would do 2 things... pay off some of the high interest ccards if that is what your other debt is and save a little for the move. This is why!!! If you don't save some for the move you'll probably end up putting moving expenses on a ccard so your back to where you started. Next, paying off some of the other debts will help your payment to debt ratio which will in turn help you get the better interest rate when buying the new home when you relocate... hope this helps... good luck!!!
The others have good ideas. Pay off bills.Put some money away for emergencies. About bills , pay off the smallest amounts first - not the highest interest . Why? have you ever seen the small pack dinosaurs - alot of them will kill faster than one big one. you will feel much better and in control if you kill a bunch of the blood sucking small ones . It is a mind victory - much better than interest rate kills. Now you can focus on the next bigger ones. A cash emergency fund 1000-1500$ is a need to stop the blood of credit cards. Save some money in bank for closing. Get a budget and stay on it. visit DaveRamsey.com to learn what the working poor won't learn and banks don't want you to know. As for the house buying don't for the first year until you find in real time where you want and can Afford to live not where the realator says you should live. Buy less than you can afford cause Mr.Murphy will move in.
Pay of the high interest bills Put the rest in the bank find one with high interest that does not penalize you if you take it out early. You can also invest it depending on your knowledge of the market and if your have a broker that could lead you in the right direction. I wouldn't put it towards your house that is the best thing for you. Save as much as you can. You can always use it when you move.
Paying off bills is usually your #1 priority as overdue bills usually carry a lot troubles, such as loss of services, phone calls from debitors, and sky-high interest rate for late and overdue payment, in fact some charge even higher interest rate than credit card companies do. Beside, like you said, it may affect your credit rating and lower you bargaining position in the future when you need a credit. new-jersey a rule of thumb, when you have extra money usually you allocate that money to the debt which has the highest interest rate (credit cards balance, overdue bills, etc) and other urgent needs.
I would pay the bills first. It's all about interest. The high interest stuff should get paid off first. As for the mortgage, you get a tax write-off for that, so I'd just pay the minimum on that for now.
Bankrate.com Saving when you're barely surviving Monday August 28, 6:00 am ET Don Taylor Dear Dr. Don, I am a husband and father of two young toddlers. My net pay is just enough to scrape by every two weeks. With health insurance premiums well over $400 per month, my net pay is only enough to cover the bills. Every time I set aside money, I end up having to use it all for some unforeseen expenditure, and then some with credit cards (whose balances continue to escalate). Where does one in my situation begin to save? -- Underfunded Mike Dear Mike, Your question is one of the more difficult issues in personal finance. How do you work toward the future when you're having trouble getting through the week? The key is to keep spending less than income. Easier said than done, but that doesn't mean it doesn't need to be done. Spiraling credit card balances aren't the answer. Credit cards just postpone the problem and have you spending money on finance charges that should be going toward meeting your family's needs. Differentiate between what's necessary and what's nice in your monthly spending. Cutting out cell phones (or alternatively land lines), cable TV, dinners out, etc. brings down your monthly nut. Bankrate has a budget work sheet that you can download to put together a monthly spending plan. Talk to your employer's personnel department to see if there are ways of reducing the health-care costs while keeping family coverage. Taking advantage of flexible spending accounts to pay for medical costs with pretax dollars is one possible way of accomplishing this goal. The other side of the equation is to increase income. Take a second job, or a third. Don't think of it as forever, just until you can get the credit card balances down and build a bit of a cash cushion. If your wife doesn't work, perhaps she should. Bankrate's "Should my spouse work, too?" calculator will help with that math. The answers aren't easy, but you've got to ramp up income, throttle back on spending or both to get to the point where you move past paycheck-to-paycheck living and get to the point where your income is also building toward your family's future. If you've worked through all this and still can't see a way, it's time to ask for help. Your state government might be able to help with health-care insurance for the children, for example. A Bankrate feature, "Finding help in hard times," has some other ideas, too. To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the "Ask the Experts" page, and select one of these topics: "financing a home," "saving & investing" or "money." --------------------------------- Investopedia – Debt Consolidation Investments you should know Finder Unified Theory of Everything Financial Revealed in Dilbert and the Way of the Weasels By Scott Adams 1.Make a will 2.Pay off your credit cards 3.Get term life insurance if you have a family to support 4.Fund your 401k to the maximum 5.Fund your IRA to the maximum 6.Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it 7.Put six months worth of expenses in a money-market account 8.Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement 9.If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio Check the bottom line: A portfolio with an asset allocation of 70% in Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX) is doing just fine, performing remarkably close to the S&P 500 index. Moreover, that simple two-fund portfolio is perfect for the vast majority of America's 95 million investors who are passive much as Adam's Dilbert character. The truth is, most investors have little or no interest in Wall Street's casino action; all the time-consuming research, the sophisticated stock-picking tricks, the costly trading necessary to play in a market drowning in 10,000 stocks, 18,000 funds and more than 100,000 bonds. Most investors have jobs and kids as their top priority. Moreover, Dilbert's simple two-fund portfolio compares favorably with our other lazy portfolios.
You will still in debt no matter what, better save it for retired. think as if you don't get the money, and invest it. or you can finish the bill, but if you do it for a better rate, you will get in bigger bill?
Pay off current bills and put the rest in savings
Tithe savings bills rainy day