Trouble is, their “have” may be much more than what you have, which means someone has a budgeting secret that you are just dying to learn.
Fortunately, smart budgeting isn’t difficult, but it does require a disciplined consumer. If you regularly use a credit card to pay for your purchases, then that will have to stop. Make some important changes in the way that you make your purchases and you’ll come out ahead.
1. Set aside some cash
— Even before you work to pay down some debt, it is important for you to set up an emergency fund. Why? Because when you’ve needed money in the past, you’ve resorted to tapping your credit card liberally. You don’t have to start with a large amount, but be prepared to contribute $10 to $20 per week or more consistently.
2. Resolve to pay cash
— Tell yourself that you’ll only pay cash for what you need. You don’t need to cut up your credit cards, but most of your cards can be stored away in a safe place. Carry one card for emergencies, such as for towing your car in a break down, but resolve never to charge anything again or at least until you get your financial house in order.
3. Review your costs
— Examine your monthly bills and determine which services can be dropped or scaled back. For instance, do you still need a landline? If not, cancel it and use your cell phone only. Is heating a big expense every winter? If so, put on a sweater and cut the thermostat back by 1 degree to save some money. Shop at grocery stores using coupons, buy specials only and consider your nearby warehouse club to obtain the biggest savings. Likely, one or more services can go. What services remain can be up for negotiation — shop around for a new Internet connectivity provider.
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4. Trim your expenses
— Beyond what was mentioned in point #3, there are other ways for you to cut back. Combine your auto and homeowners insurance. Negotiate dental rates with your dentist. Review your employer’s health insurance plan, choosing the least expensive plan or one with higher deductions and lower payroll deductions.
5. Just delay it
— Few purchases in life are urgent other than food, clothing and shelter. Get in the habit of saving for what you need instead of buying it now and paying for it later or even much later. Consider borrowing or renting what you need before making a purchase. For example, if you are seeking to lease a new car, then consider taking over someone else’s short term lease if the monthly rate is affordable. Buy some time now and you’ll be able to buy what you want later with cash.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be a drag, but it does require commitment from you. Without a workable, sustainable budget in place, you won’t ever master your debt problems. Take the plunge now and you’ll start down the road to sensible living right away…no secret there!
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Last update on 2020-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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