A lot of people are struggling under the burden of debt and having problems bringing order in their finances. Arguments between spouses increase, as do stress levels. Often, they may feel they are on a treadmill, barely maintaining their current positions but making no progress at all.
If this sounds familiar to you, you might find it interesting that there is a way to apply common sense to your situation and bring both your debt and your personal finances under control. It’s a not a quick fix and it will not be totally pain-free, but it will work where other personal finance plans fail. Just simply put, it is the idea of not spending more than you earn.
You may not like the idea of living within your means, but that may be because you do not truly understand how it relates to personal finance. It is not avoiding all debt, nor does it mean giving up everything you love. It does not mean you must wear rags, go cheap on food, or never taste wine again. What it does mean is that you take control of your personal finances and debt.
The first thing you need to do to take control of your personal finances is to establish a budget. List all your normal expenses and how much you spend monthly on them. If you are like most people when they first tackle their personal finances, there are going to be some things you do not know. It is not uncommon for many people to have no clue how much groceries cost each month, for example, or how much is spent on clothing.
It may be necessary for you to track your expenses for a few weeks to get a good handle on your personal finances. In the meantime, start with fixed costs, such as your mortgage or car payments, and include your best estimate for flexible expenses. You can always adjust these next month.
Include a line item in your budget for savings, something that is often neglected in money plans. Set some target percentage to save, over a period, gradually increase the percent going into savings. Savings accounts, when reserved for true emergencies, are an important part of personal financial security. They mean you do not need to pull out a charge card if the hot water heater breaks or your car needs a repair. This, in turn, means that you are not increasing your debt load.
Finally get the support of all family members if you need to bring your personal finances or debt load under control. Each individual needs to consider what is most important-a college education or designer jeans? Keeping your home after retirement or going out for a steak dinner every week? With just a little cooperation, you can make drastic improvements to your personal finances and reduce your debts substantially.