Stress, anxiety and worry are not helpful or healthy, and those negative influences in your life can degrade not only peace of mind but also personal and professional relationships. Take control of your finances before stomping out financial fires becomes a way of life.
The first step in any financial management plan is to take full stock of your income and other assets to determine precisely what figures are valid and what are only ideals. Work with reality and not with wishes for the best response and plan possible.
Take the net pay of each person contributing to household expenses. If your 10-year-old child has a paper route instead of weekly allowances, that income is probably not included in your evaluation. Use what’s applicable, and form a comprehensive income baseline platform.
By fully recognizing your household’s available income levels, you gain a fuller picture of the positive side of your budget computations.
Income Source Diversity
The more you can diversify your income sources, the more secure your income might be. If you rely on one primary day job for most or all of your income, the harder the loss of that income will be, should it disappear from your equation.
Know the penalties of keeping that one job against all odds. You may not like two part-time jobs instead, but know your financial strengths and weaknesses, and accept potential consequences of paying most or all of your bills from one paycheck.
Two part-time jobs may not pay as much as one full-time, day job. Know you’re trading that diversity for the higher pay, and take precautions against financial disaster if you lose that solitary, 40-hour-per-week job.
Debt Repayment Obligations
If you are working to earn a paycheck that is paid right back out to others – if you spend your full check on bills, that is, it’s extremely difficult to feel like you’ve made progress or that you would ever get ahead.
Paying off your extra debt from credit cards to additional principle on your mortgage or full installments on your annual insurance bill, shed the extra amounts you are paying for borrowing money. Don’t miss payments or pay less than what is due, but adding even a dollar or two to an installment can and will positively influence the total amount you pay for that credit convenience. The more you add to the minimum amount, the better off your outstanding debt list will be.
Savings and Emergency Funding
Pay yourself a few dollars each time you receive a paycheck. Put that money aside in some sort of interest-bearing account, and the amount you pay yourself will continue to hopefully grow on your behalf. Ideally, an emergency fund should hold enough to pay all known bills for a minimum of six months. Know, though, that very few people earn that much to make a one-time deposit to cover it.
Instead, work toward that goal bit by bit. Every deposit you make in that fund is a step in the right direction.
If you truly have difficulty getting a handle on your finances even after trying the above measures, don’t be afraid to enlist the experts. Debt management organizations do charge fees for their services, but those professionals and the experts are fully poised to negotiate installments and interest rates on your behalf with your creditors.
Many creditors do work with debt management personnel, for creditors recognize your genuine attempt to meet your debt obligations.
Do your part, though: Reduce arbitrary spending. Create as comprehensive picture of your financial situation as accurately as possible, and seek help before your finances are out of control.