People are often in this dilemma. Should you invest with your current savings, or to pay off your debt? Before I fly off talking about these 2 topics, let’s have a look at what these are first.
Debit is money you owe to bank, family, friends, etc. It’s money that you must pay back. If you lay this out in your financial statement, this would be considered as your “liability”.
You normally pay this off in a longer period of time, with interest. Basically, you end up paying more than you borrowed.
Whereas on the other side, investment is where you use your money (regardless of whether it’s from your savings, or money you have borrowed) and make a positive return.
Now considering these 2 points, the question is – should you invest or pay off your debt first?
This really depends on which part of the life stage you’re in. I’ll start off with my current life stage.
I’ve became a father 50 days ago (my daughter finally hit 50 days mark!) and I have fixed expenses that I cannot ignore. Rent, utility bills, mobile phone bills, Internet bills, etc.
Once I have paid off all my fixed expenses, then I have my debt that I must pay off. I’m still paying off my student loan, and I have credit card bills that I am still paying off.
Now if I don’t have the ability to pay off these expenses and debt, I will literally be out on the street. I don’t have a house, I’m renting.
In my situation – paying off my debt will come first. Once I have paid off my debt, I will be able to save a bit more. Only then if I have enough capital, I can really look into investing.
Paying off my debt is my first priority as I need to be financially secured. My family is my number 1 priority and supporting them comes first.
Now, for people who do not have a family, and perhaps living with their parents – Investment is a good idea. Even if you fail – you still have parents that can help you out. Yes we don’t want to get into this level, but at least you have a backup plan that some people don’t have (people like me!).
So in this case, Investment would be a feasible option and an idea that you can prioritise first.
So when it comes to debt vs investment – how should you analyse it?
Step 1: Analyse your situation.
First thing you need to do is analyse your situation.
Check which part of life stage you are in. Check how much capital you have, and how much debt you have. Write them down. See it for yourself, and digest all the information you have just wrote down.
Let it really sink in, so you can get a clear understanding of your financial situation.
Step 2: Decide and analyse whether you want to pay off your debt first, or invest.
If you need to pay off your debt first, set a goal. Set a weekly or a monthly goal. And make it challenging. Limit yourself on luxury expenses. If you’re serious about it – try living your life with absolute minimal expenses. That way, you can pay off your debt much quickly.
If you are going to invest – think of the worst possible scenario. What will happen if I fail? I know this is a very negative way to start the process, but you need to have a backup plan just in case. You don’t want to be out on the streets!
Think about how much you want to invest. Make a small investment first, and gradually invest more. Even though you might have the perfect idea, when you actually invest your money it may not go accordingly as you’ve planned. You want to make sure your losses in your investments are always minimal.
I hope this article was helpful. Just be careful when it comes to controlling your money. Supporting your loved ones should always be your first priority! Money comes after.
Which stage are you in your life, and how do you plan on paying off your debt – or investing? Let me know in the comments below!