You’ve been keeping track of your money, your spending, and your savings. It’s not the best method, but it could be the only way for you to finally realize the full truth about your finances. One way to bring awareness to your cash flow situation is to look at yourself and honestly make a list of what you owe, what you own, and who you pay every month. If you bring this list to your finances and analyze it, you may discover that you spend a certain amount of your salary paying interest, penalties, and fees. You can make a game of sorts by spreading the debts on your credit cards between cards to match their rates. Keep in mind though that you do need to continue to pay off these debts to help eliminate credit card debt, which will help eliminate the debts even faster.
If you have a book finding, it would be a fun project, and you can decide to list at a tabletop, with a head(s) of your fridge, and a calculator. Put half the table on the top where you pay any money you postponed paying toward debt and half rant on the bottom of that information. You can also judge how your money is being saved and applied as well.
The first one is your all cash or a check, and the other half completed each month. Whatever you do, you want to complete every month. Once you have everything in order, you can look at how you spend or save money down by group and find out where you may cut back, so that you place more money in those areas. After you have the sums, go look at every small expense and determine how to reduce it. For me, I find that I spend almost $1 on candy every day (a very large item considering that by the time I get groceries to take with me), so I just let them be. When you do that for a month, you might be surprised by the difference in cash flow. Almost immediately, you will feel the cut back as you realize just what you were doing to go along with your debt load.
Other ways to cut back
Take the time to figure out what you buy each day, or how often you go to operate your car or your lights. Something as simple as knowing what you need to do on a day to day basis will help you save. Budget for a fun activity when times are tight and eat more homemade meals or fresh for lunch and snacks if you can. The key point is that you have to make choices, and sometimes a simple change of a few dollars here and there can provide a huge benefit without changing your lifestyle much. I now enjoy easy and stress-free nights and weekends because I know that I don’t necessarily waste money on lunches or handles of cleaner or laundry. I also save money by choosing to do things in heavy-duty installments so that I have to pay for a car payment, insurance, and gas.
It’s a good idea to sit down and write out the full cost of items you buy regularly, as well as comparing them to other shelf price items in your area. This way, you will be conscious about what you are spending that is hard to determine, but can be measured. For instance, if you are in the market for a new car, it’s good to figure out the price. Then find a quality used car in the same make and model and obtain a monthly price of it to help you measure the exact value. With each month that passes, you are starting out saving money and beefing up your cash flow. It’s in your best interest to minimize your debt since late or non-payment of debts has a more detrimental effect than paying it down to where you began.
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