Pay it all off

By Lena / May 28, 2012

Pay It All Off!

The time to spend frivolously and borrow excessively has long since passed. In today’s economy the financial advice that is most prevalent is to save and spend conservatively. Trying to switch gears and think that way can be difficult, but this advice will help.

Track the amount you are spending each month. You can never gain control of how much you are spending if you do not know what you are spending your money on. Take some time to write down your bills and track all of your frivolous spending habits too. Whether it is a five dollar cup of coffee or a thousand dollar sofa, write it down so you can understand where your money is going. A paper notebook is a fine tool to use for this, or you can track with a number of different software programs of your choosing.

Start saving some money every month. Once you understand where you are spending your money, you can make some positive changes so that you are spending less than you are bringing in. When you have a bit of excess money in your account, make efforts to save it for a rainy day. Your goal should be to eventually save enough to pay all of your expenses for a period of six months, so that you are covered if unemployment or loss of income should ever strike.

When you are looking for ways to save, one of the easiest things you can do is reduce the cost of your bank accounts. Talk to your bank about a free checking account and if they will not offer one, find a bank that does. A free checking account can save you up well over a hundred dollars a year, leaving that money free for paying down debt and saving.

Stop using your credit cards. Another important part of managing your finances is to control your debt. Credit cards equal debt and large credit card balances are often the result of frivolous spending. Lock your credit cards up, or better yet cut them up, so you cannot use them. Work to pay off all of your balances and then only use your credit cards if you can pay them off in full at the end of each billing cycle. This will improve your credit score and eliminate a large portion of your debt.

If you are having difficulty with these steps, consider turning to a professional financial adviser. Sometimes finding the path to fiscal responsibility is difficult. Even when you try, you cannot seem to save enough or reduce expenditures enough to really make a difference. If this describes you, then it might be time to turn to a financial professional. These individuals can help you to create a budget, make contact with your creditors and learn to save. Make sure to only work with someone who is reputable and avoid anyone who tells you they can instantly eliminate your debt or improve your credit score.

It is not impossible to get your finances in order. Following the right steps and becoming diligent in managing your finances will go a long way toward helping you to reduce debt, increase savings and get yourself on the path to financial freedom.

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Lena

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