Monday, September 26, 2011

Striving past debt: Master your money!

Should America's enslavement to money be billed to over-stimulation of marketing or a major lack in self control? Truth be told, no one can pin down a single agent to Americans biggest adversity today. But the statistics on household and personal debt are, literally, taxing. Click here for some insane facts.

The truth is a lot of people just don't know where the money is going or they aren't realistic about what they spend each month. My husband and I went to a budgeting consultation because we recently inherited a car loan payment from a co-signing situation and wanted some advice on how to survive until we could sell it. While our situation wasn't ideal, the good humored counselor told us he was hopeful because we at least know how to sacrifice one thing for another and where every penny is going. "I had one couple that should have had over a grand each month sitting in savings. They had no clue where it was spent!" I chuckled. Like a lot of families in our country, I couldn't imagine having that much extra cash each month. It would be a gift! The great news is as I continue to work with my home business team, I am on my way to making that much extra money each month and more!

Here are some helpful hints to mastering your money:
~ Write it all down: As soon as you get paid, write down every single thing you spend money on in a small notebook. Then figure out how much you are spending on necessities such as food, gas, rent, etc... You will be amazed sometimes how much more you are spending then you realize in one or more areas!

~ Be honest with yourself: If you know you spend more on alcohol, fast food, etc then you can truly afford, face the music and make an effort to right it. Your wallet will thank you! And perhaps your body will too!

~ Sense the patterns: Chances are you have a bill that's always late or something that never seems to get covered with your pay check. Pay that first or before you spend any money on retail items.

~Use cash: One great suggestion my friend Leslie made was to cash check or pull out paycheck in cash and use envelopes to divide the money. Plastic makes it so easy for us to just swipe and go. When we are using cash, we are more aware of our money and we prioritize what we spend it on.

~ Karate Chop your debt: Pay just a little more on those credit cards each month, and stash the plastic out of your purse or wallet! If its not there, you won't use it! Plus, every extra dollar you pay ahead on a revolving credit type account will be less interest later! (Average interest paid PER YEAR on a credit card in America is over $1000!!! I would much rather pay that money off on my balance, wouldn't you?)

We all have our vices: fast food (a big one for Americans), coffee house stops, chocolate (one of mine as of late), rec vehicles and weekend entertainment. Rising costs don't help the debt situation either. We all are dipping deeper in our pockets to survive. Just know, we aren't in it alone and there is help out there! "Seek and ye shall find!" And if you happen to be a military family, I happen to know a lot of resources. And if you want to work from home, ask me how I am doing it and striving for a brighter financial future!

Until next week!

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