Are you more focused on saving or paying off debt right now?

With so much talk of a recession lately, I’m wondering how that’s affecting everyone’s financial goals. Are you focusing more on saving or getting rid of debt? I recently wrote an article about whether you should save more or pay off debt if you’re worried about a recession. https://www.thepennyhoarder.co…-debt-for-recession/ (Spoiler: The answer is basically, “it depends.”)

I tend to favor building some savings before doubling down on debt. In a total catastrophe, it’s important to have easy access to cash so you can keep the rent/mortgage paid and the lights on if your income suddenly dries up. I’d rather know that I can at least pay for my housing, groceries and healthcare for a few months, even if I’d be at risk of getting behind on debt payments.

When the pandemic began in early 2020, I panicked. My emergency fund was short and I also had debt. So I put whatever I could into my savings account, including my first stimulus check, and just made minimum payments on my debt. Once I felt OK about my emergency fund and I wasn’t terrified about losing my job, I went after my debt aggressively.

I have about a six-month emergency fund for the first time in my life now. I’d like to build that up to about eight months’ worth. My only debt is about $3,700 on a Care Credit line I took out two weeks ago for my dog’s vet bill. It has a six-month 0% period. Since I have a six-month emergency fund, I’m going to focus on putting all my extra money toward paying off the Care Credit line. Then, I’ll start putting extra into my savings account.

If this were March 2020, though, when job losses were widespread, I’d probably be hoarding all my extra cash. This time around feels a lot different since unemployment is still so low.

Are you worried about a recession, and if so, how is that affecting your financial goals? Are you preparing by saving more? Paying off debt? A combination?

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I like to have a good amount of cash in my account just in case something unforeseen happens. And stay debt-free on top of that. Easier said than done. I have a couple annual bills each summer that, if I don’t save/budget for throughout the year, really throw my finances off, leading me to drain my savings and accrue some debt that’ll take me a few months to pay off. This has hit me pretty hard this year. Living in a 100+ year old house doesn’t help, ha. So I’m paying off my credit card with any extra funds I have after saving a set amount each month. And I’m not using my credit cards for any new purchases until that debt is completely behind me.

So, to answer the question, both, but leaning towards paying down debt faster than adding a ton to savings.

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I’m more focused on saving, since my debt is a mortgage and student debt. Also saving for down payment on a bigger house.

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It does feel amazing and freeing to be debt free. The best part of paying off debt, is placing the money that was spent into savings. This is where real savings begins. Our community is having CD wars at the banks. Each week the rates go up.04 percent! That’s not much , but it sure beats rates going down that much. Good financial luck to everyone who is frugal and paying off debt.

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Probably debt, but that doesn’t mean I can let savings slide.

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I am currently laser focused on PAYING OFF DEBT! I made some rather large purchases prior to the economy tanking and now I want to get those cleared so I am more comfortable. Sadly it is taking every penny of any extra income I have to do it but my current plan has me on pace to have all my credit cards paid in full by the first week of December 2022. Then I can enter 2023 debt free and see what 2023 has in store for us.

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i never make a debt i can’t pay off at the end of the month, i am saving never know what will happen in the future

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@rick.campbell What a great way to ring in 2023! Have you made any cuts to your budget to pay down debt faster?

I wouldn’t call them cuts but I am definitely not making any new purchases that are not necessary and my trip I am taking in May 2023 I am going to drive a few hours to a larger airport to save on my flight.

I calculated fuel and parking and my normal taxi fee to and from my local airport and I will save around 800 dollars even with fuel and parking added.

Normally I would just fly out of my local airport but until things improve I am doing what I can to not save a dollar but rather stretch the dollars I spend.

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I currently have 3 months worth of emergency savings. I also have doggie savings. I should be OK for my out-of-state move savings. I’ll continue to contribute to savings, but I need to also chip away at this one credit card debt. It adds up quickly because I feel safer swiping a CC than using cash or debit card.

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For me, it’s difficult trying to save, when you don’t have that much to begin with. Back in the day, I wish I knew what I know now, and saved then vs now. So at this point in my life, I am more focused on paying off debt.

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