Facing financial difficulties can be emotionally draining. When money is tight, even the smallest unexpected setback can have you up at night and stressed during the day. There are many paths you can take to becoming more financially responsible and saving for your future.
Everyone’s financial journey is unique, but there are some things that you can start right away to help you on your way. We are going to break down our top 5 tips to help you with your prayers for financial relief.
Work on Your Debt
One of the first things you need to get serious about is working on your debt. Make a list of every credit card, loan, car payment, and anything else excluding your house payment or rent. If you have many accounts and are unsure if you have pulled everything, you can review your credit report to make sure nothing is missing.
The next step is sorting your balances by total amount owed and by the interest rate. There are two paths you can take when tackling your debt. The first path is paying off the smallest balance first, then attacking the next and so on.
The second which is a prevalent method is going after the highest interest rate balances first. This will potentially save you money in the long run because of the high-interest fees attached to your account every month. If your interest rates are high due to late payments or missing payments, you can call the credit card companies and try and negotiate a lower rate for a period. Also, if you are struggling with minimum payments, you can try and negotiate lower minimum payments.
While you are working on clearing your debt, do not use your credit cards unless there is an emergency. When you have paid off everything, be very careful not to get yourself into a debt cycle again. Charge only what you can afford to pay off in full every month. This will help you avoid fees and help save money.
Check out your household expenses and see where there is room to cut back. If you eat out multiple times a week, try cooking dinner at home most nights. Take a hard look at luxury expenses such as your cable bill. Are you able to cut back some channels and reduce your bill? Make a list of all household expenses by using last months bank statements and credit card statements, make a list of all those expenses and see if you can commit to a budget.
Some ideas are saving on your electric and gas bill by adjusting your thermostat or making a commitment to save power by making sure you turn off the lights in the house when you leave and the rooms when you are not in them. Even subtle changes can make an impact on your bottom line.
The grocery store can be a money pit. It is easy to go to the grocery store and spend a fortune without even feeling like you bought anything. Making a meal plan at the beginning of the week takes time and discipline but will save you from overbuying when it is time to shop. Look for items on sale and start couponing. It is incredible the savings you can get for your everyday household purchases by using a few coupons. Get yourself a folder or store them on your phone to expedite checkout.
Open A Savings Account
If you use direct deposit for your check, you can usually set up a split, so your check will deposit into two different accounts. You can start with a small percentage of each check making sure that you have enough to cover your bills and entertainment expenses for the pay period.
When the money is deposited in the savings account each pay period, it will begin a nest egg foundation that will be the start of your emergency fund or retirement fund. As your bills go down, you can adjust the percentage accordingly.
Pick Up A Part-Time Job
If your debt is keeping you up at night and you are not sure you can tackle it, pick up a part-time job. You can do this temporarily until you can pay off your debt, or you can keep it and put all that money into your savings account, so you can begin building your retirement fund.
Congratulations! You are on your way to financial freedom!