In purely financial terms, deciding whether to pay off a debt, or to start saving regularly, is clear cut:
If you're paying more interest on your loan or debt than you're earning on your savings, it makes sense to pay off the debt first.
For example, if you have savings in an account earning 2% interest, and you have store card debt that you're paying 19% interest on, it may be sensible to pay off the store card debt first, before putting money into the savings account.
However, this isn't a rule that applies to every situation. For example, mortgages, and certain loans, have fixed repayment terms that are not negotiable. If possible, you should try and build up savings in addition to making those payments.
There are 3 key things to consider:
A blended approach could make sense. Referring to the example above, you might:
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