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How having a financial plan can help with debt | Money Talks

Financial Advisor Rolandus Johnson shares some tips on how to pay debt without breaking the bank.

TEMPLE, Texas — Courtesy of Bankrate.com, let's break down where Americans have their debt. On average people have over $38,000 in student loans, more than $5,000 in credit card debt, and personal loans top $16,000. 

So at what point does someone in the work force freak out? Financial Advisor Rolandus Johnson explained.

"The thing about debt is, don't let debt ruin your financial plan at first. Because I found out that time is one of the most important assets that we have. And it's an asset that we don't know when we're going to run out of," Johnson said.

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Johnson takes pride in helping people make smart money decisions, but he also knows life is short, and it can't be all about being a slave to the dollar.

"You work hard for your money, and you should invest a portion of it. I'm not here to tell you what not to do with your money," he said. "I'd be remiss if somebody comes up to me and said, 'Rojo you made X amount of dollars this year and you can't buy this.' I'd say 'Wait a minute, who are you?' But what I would say is live within your means and I know that's a saying that everybody says, but if you're making $50,000 a year don't go buy a $40,000 car."

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That makes sense. So leave plenty of money left over after your bills are due to address your debt or the things you want to achieve. Rojo said, you should not go it alone.

"The one thing that I would say about the financial plan is the more people you have on your financial team, the better. So if you've got an advisor, you've got a CPA, maybe you've got a mortgage loan broker, or someone where you can refinance. All of us will work together to get you to your financial goal."

And remember, you work hard for your money, but by being in control of every dollar you earn, you will have a lot more freedom in life. 

"Live within your means. Understand that if you live like no one else today, you will live like no one else tomorrow, so don't overspend, you know, I know it's tough not to overspend because you work hard for your money you want to buy stuff, but at the same time, consult with that team that financial team, the family and really take and heed that advice so if you can just buy a $15,000 car and it will get you to where you need to get, hey, that's more money that you can spend for your life later on down the road."

And again, if you have debt, you're not alone. Experian found that 90 percent of U.S. adults have at least one credit card on their credit reports, and 75 percent of adults carry a balance from month to month.