When your income is less than usual, or you’ve had an unexpected expense, your regular bills and living expenses don’t stop. It is not much fun being stretched financially and having to worry continually about making ends meet.
The thought of taking a hard look at your personal economy can be daunting and scary. Many people who go through the process find out that they aren’t as bad off as they thought, but others realize that they are on a fast track to potential trouble. But you have to know where you stand today if you ever hope to find any stability with your finances.
You are not alone in this struggle, especially considering the impact that COVID-19 has had on everyone.
WHERE TO START
There are two things you must do immediately. Reduce your expenses and try to find ways to increase your income. We will talk about ways to increase your income in the next blog post.
STOP SPENDING MONEY
First, stop spending money and do a complete review of all of your monthly expenses. Once you have a good idea of what you are spending money on, cut back spending on unnecessary items. And then prioritize the remaining expenses in the order of importance. Try to find any and every way possible to reduce costs.
TRACK YOUR EXPENSES
Develop a cash-flow report that will help you track money coming in and being spent for a set period. This report or process will help you spot any habits relating to how you are handling or mishandling your money.
ALL OF YOUR EXPENSES ARE OPTIONAL
This statement may be shocking to you. All, yes ALL, of your expenses are optional. You can stop spending money on things that in the bigger picture don’t matter. You are in more control of what’s happening around you than you think.
ESTABLISH WRITTEN GOALS AND A BUDGET
Most of us tend to spend what we have. No matter how old you are, you should establish written goals and a budget based on those goals.
Your goals must be in writing, specific, realistic, measurable, and ask someone to hold you accountable. Create a budget based on your goals and be flexible enough to make changes when necessary.
Most people eventually get to the point where they realize that something has to change with what’s going on with their finances. We’ve all heard that the most practical thing to do is “spend less than we earn.” Right? But that principle most often gets swallowed up with the reality of each family’s circumstances.
So, stop spending money. Live on what you earn. Establish written goals and a budget based on attaining your family goals.
Please check out our course titled “Do You Have More Month than Money.” This course will provide you with the help and tools that will enable you to take control of your finances and attain your financial goals.
MODULE 4: Paying bills and other expenses. https://sunrisebanks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/YMYG-Toolkit-Module-4.pdf
Money Smart – Teach – For Adults catalog.fdic.gov.