- 4 min read
Bills.com's founder and CEO Bradford Stroh speaks with Fox News 5 in San Diego about helpful ways consumers can save money and reduce their debt.
Unemployment is at about 7.8%, and there has been a large loss of wealth due to declining home values. Here are five tips from Bills.com CEO Brad Stroh to help you with your debt problems and save money:
- Build a budget
- Get support (get a support group to help you stick to your budget)
- Get a mortgage refinance (rates are as low as 4%)
- Haggle (call your cell phone provider and credit card company and ask for a lower rate)
- Use cash (when you're out you can't spend more
Well now is about the time that you are receiving those credit card bills for those holiday purchases but before you panic, take a deep breath, exhale, pop a Xanax, and then we’ll give you five things that you can do right now to reduce your debt.
Well, the start of the year is notoriously when most people file for bankruptcy post-Christmas, reality hits hard when many can’t afford to pay all of those bills. Candace is here now with an expert to help us out.
Yep, he is Brad Stroh, Kathleen, the CEO of Bills.com and Brad really around this time we are getting a lot of noticing, hearing about a lot of people who are in financial strife.
There is no questions, it is the worst that we have seen in our lifetime with unemployment above ten percent with the incredible loss of wealth in the housing and stock market, it’s worse than ever for people.
So that said, like right now if we had like five simple tips, take a pen and a paper there, five simple tips that people can do right now today that would make a difference and to list them off really quickly, build a budget, get support, refinance, haggle, and use cash. Let’s go over those. Build a budget, I build a budget, but I go over it.
Yeah, unfortunately it is the least fun part of a solid financial game plan, you have got to do it even if you just do it for just one month it’s the best way to learn how to get on solid footing, but build a budget and stick to it.
The second one is support game plan kind of fits in with the budget but it’s, money can be stressful it is the number-one cause of divorce, number one cause of suicide in America. Get a support group whether is a financial counselor or a friend or a family member to help you stick to and hold you accountable to your plan and really help you through those tough times.
So if you have your friends whatever you might call them and your group and you are hanging out, and those friends will tell you, no you know what you don’t want to spend on that three hundred dollar meal at Mister A’s tonight.
I think that’s one thing they do, the other is you don’t want to let them down, you guys have collectively set your goals to here is what we are going to do over the next year together you guys can reach your goals and it really makes you feel like you are not alone in a difficult financial situation.
So refinancing is it’s a simple one but rates are the lowest they have been in our lifetime, you are crazy if you are fortunate enough to be a homeowner with equity not to refinance today as low as five percent so it Is something you ought to do tomorrow, frankly.
Yeah, so haggle is a fun one it’s sort of non-traditional but in this economic environment you can haggle on everything like never before. Tomorrow you should wake up and call your credit card companies and ask them to lower your interest rates. Call your cell phone provider and say you are thinking about switching you want a better plan. You can even haggle at retail right now. Pair of jeans, cds, certainly when you are buying a car, haggle on everything.
And what difference does it make if you use cash or a credit card?
So, cash is the fun one that we say, one if you carry cash when you run out your spending definitely stops. The second is, when you are laying down those dollar bills you really feel it, you feel the tangible element of what you are spending as opposed to the intangible element of swiping it on a credit card and then dealing with the problem later.
So it’s more psychological?
Little psychological and practical when you run out, you are done.
Alright, Brad Stroh, President-CEO of Bills.com, Thank you.
Good tips, Kathleen.
Does Brad have any tips on staying away from Target, because that’s where I do all my impulse spending?
See my problem is Neiman Marcus not Target.
You had…you had to trump me right, thanks a lot, which one of us is a mother right? I am at Target and he is at Neiman Marcus.
If you are struggling with debt, you are not alone. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Quarter Q4 2023 was $17.503 trillion. Student loan debt was $1.601 trillion and credit card debt was $1.129 trillion.
A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.
The amount of debt and debt in collections vary by state. For example, in Florida, 29% have any kind of debt in collections and the median debt in collections is $2137. Medical debt is common and 14% have that in collections. The median medical debt in collections is $915.
To maintain an excellent credit score it is vital to make timely payments. However, there are many circumstances that lead to late payments or debt in collections. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to deal with debt including debt consolidation and debt relief solutions.