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Need More Money? Four Moves to Boost Your Personal Finances

By reducing spending and managing credit card debt, you'll be able to increase your savings an impressive rate.
By reducing spending and managing credit card debt, you'll be able to increase your savings an impressive rate. Photo Credit:

NEW YORK -- A common question Financial Advisors hear from clients is, “How can I save more than I’m saving now?” Fortunately, there are several ways you can accomplish that goal with a bit of professional help.

Monitor expenses

Lowering your expenses by a modest amount such as 1% could allow you to boost your savings initiatives as much as a comparable increase in pay. To gain insights into your current spending habits, consider downloading a budgeting app for your smart phone. They’re much easier to use than they used to be and make expense tracking very simple. For example, many apps allow you to record your income and spending on the go, incorporating information from various accounts, in order to have an up-to- the-minute overview of your financial standing each day. You can then look for inefficiencies--and ways to economize.

Reduce credit card expenses

On average, each US household with credit card debt owes a balance of more than $15,000.1 You can eliminate such debt faster--and start saving more--by paying more than the minimum monthly amount on your credit cards each month.

For example, assume you have a $1,000 credit card debt with a 12% interest rate. By paying $20 each month, it would take 67 months to eliminate the debt and would cost you $353.43 in interest. But by doubling your monthly payment to $40, you would be out of debt in just 27 months. Your interest costs would be less than half--$103.28. Then, when you finish paying off your balance, redirect the money you’d been spending on debt each month to a savings or investment account.

Another way to tackle debt expenses aggressively is by consolidating credit card balances to a single, lower-rate card. Comparison shop for the best rates, but beware of “teaser” rates that start low then jump higher after an initial introductory period ends.

Check back next week for two more moves to consider to try to increase your savings.

At Morgan Stanley, we can help you implement effective strategies for reducing expenses and set up customized savings and investment plans to help pursue your goals. Call me so we can talk about the best way to get started.

Footnotes/Disclaimers: 1Source: NerdWallet Finance, July 2015.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact Julia A. Peloso-Barnes , CFP®, CPM®, ADPA®, CPRC®

Article by Wealth Management Systems Inc. and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.

The author(s) are not employees of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC ("Morgan Stanley"). The opinions expressed by the authors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley. The information and data in the article or publication has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley.

Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation by Morgan Stanley with respect to the purchase or sale of any security, investment, strategy or product that may be mentioned.

Alternative investments often are speculative and include a high degree of risk. Investors could lose all or a substantial amount of their investment. Alternative investments are suitable only for eligible, long-term investors who are willing to forgo liquidity and put capital at risk for an indefinite period of time. They may be highly illiquid and can engage in leverage and other speculative practices that may increase the volatility and risk of loss. Alternative Investments typically have higher fees than traditional investments. Investors should carefully review and consider potential risks before investing. Certain of these risks may include but are not limited to:

Loss of all or a substantial portion of the investment due to leveraging, short-selling, or other speculative practices; Lack of liquidity in that there may be no secondary market for a fund; Volatility of returns; Restrictions on transferring interests in a fund;

Potential lack of diversification and resulting higher risk due to concentration of trading authority when a single advisor is utilized; Absence of information regarding valuations and pricing; Complex tax structures and delays in tax reporting; Less regulation and higher fees than mutual funds; and Risks associated with the operations, personnel, and processes of the manager.

As a diversified global financial services firm, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management engages in a broad spectrum of activities including financial advisory services, investment management activities, sponsoring and managing private investment funds, engaging in broker-dealer transactions and principal securities, commodities and foreign exchange transactions, research publication, and other activities. In the ordinary course of its business, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management therefore engages in activities where Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s interests may conflict with the interests of its clients, including the private investment funds it manages. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management can give no assurance that conflicts of interest will be resolved in favor of its clients or any such fund.

Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor(s) engaged Daily Voice to feature this article.

Julia A. Peloso-Barnes may only transact business in states where she is registered or excluded or exempted from registration . Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Julia A. Peloso-Barnes is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.

© 2015 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

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