In an economy where so many people are struggling to keep their heads above water, it can be difficult to think about setting a budget sticking to it and bringing yourself as well as your family into a successful financially stable situation. This is possible, but it can also be difficult. You need to sit down on your own or with your spouse, set a budget, have serious discipline and stick to your budget! Make sure to put money away from each paycheck and pay off any outstanding or revolving debt you currently have. No matter how much or how little you make, you can make the right choices and put yourself as well as your family on a successful financial path. It may be hard to force yourself to come to terms with frivolous spending and changing your life styles, but it is only temporary until you are in a better financial situation. It will be worth it in the end, and learning how to fix this now will help you not get into these situations again!
Look at what you have coming in and going out on a monthly basis:
It is very important to know exactly how much you have coming in each month, as well as how much you are spending every month, down to the last penny. If you have a handle on how much you are dealing with, it will be easier to control how much money you are spending and saving each month.
Cut Out What You Don’t Need:
Part of creating your budget and sticking to it involves cutting out the expenses you don’t need. Can you bundle your streaming services to save money? Can you make coffee at home rather than getting it out? There are certainly parts of your budget that you can’t cut, but looking closely at what you are spending on and eliminating what you don’t need will be very beneficial in sticking to your budget so you can save and pay down debt.
Settle Any Debt You Have In Collections:
A large part of setting yourself up to be financially stable and free of debt is taking care of all of your bills. This includes any bills you may have in collections. The best option for getting out of debt and stopping the calls from debt collectors, is to settle the total amount for an affordable amount, and to set up a payment plan to take care of it. They will try to pressure you to paying all at once when you have reached a settlement amount, but don’t let them bully you into anything. You have the upper hand because they want the bill paid, settled and done! If you don’t feel you can call and settle the amount on your own, you can always call a debt settlement agency to do the negotiations for you. Make sure you are only having them work on the debt that you have in collections. Do not ever let them tell you to stop paying other bills so they can be settled. This will have a very negative affect on your credit. If a debt settlement agency tells you to stop paying your other bills, hang up and call another agency. There are honest agencies out there, just make sure you do your research, look up their ratings and find the best one to help you! Also, make sure once you do set up the payments, that it becomes a steady part of your budget, so you can pay off the settlement amount and move on!
Look At How Much Debt You Have To Pay Down:
You should also know how much debt you have that is revolving and in good standing. Set up a payment that, if you can, is a little more than what you need to pay for the minimum, and add that into your monthly budget. If you have debt with high interest rates, you may want to look into debt consolidation using a refinance, home equity loan, balance transfer or personal loan. Just make sure it is the correct option for you before you do anything. (For more information on any of these options, please see my article on debt evaluation!) Now that you know how much you need to pay to get rid of your debt and stay in the clear your one step closer to your new financially free life!
Decide How Much You Need For Living Costs and Daily Expenses:
Many people only think of the bills due each month when setting up their budget for the month, but living costs for groceries, gas, etc … is something that needs to be planned and considered as well! If you don’t add these items into your budget you will end up putting them on credit, or taking the money you just put in savings back out again to cover the cost! Make sure you truly look at everything you spend and map out what you need from paycheck to paycheck so you are covered!
Set A Savings Goal For Each Paycheck:
It is very important to have a savings goal for yourself, even if it is only a small amount each month. That small amount adds up over time! Look at your income and expenses when you are reviewing your new budget and find a way to save SOMETHING! As you become more financially stable, that amount will grow!
Organize Yourself So You Can Keep To Your Budget:
Now that you have all of the information you need to stay on budget, get organized so you can keep up the good progress! You can use a spreadsheet or a budgeting app to keep yourself organized and make sure not only that all of your bills go out on time but, that you are not spending more that you should be on a monthly basis. The money you are able to put away each month after paying your bills should stay there and help you build to achieve your financial success!
Set Your Budget And Stick To It:
Having all of your expenses organized will make setting your final budget very simple. Make sure you know what your goals are for each pay period, stick to the amount of money you have in the budget to spend each week and use your discipline to stick to your budget. If you follow these steps and stick to your plan, you will become not only more financially stable, but successful as well!