FOLLOWING A BUDGET IS KEY TO REDUCING FINANCIAL STRESS
- Figure out how much money you have coming in: track your spending for two to four weeks to find out where your money is going.
- Track your spending for two to four weeks to find out exactly where your money is going.
- Crunch the numbers: total income - total expenses = balance.
- Map out a budget by listing your sources of income as well as expenses.
- Examine your budget. Review your budget and consider.
- Stick to it! Your discipline can pay off by having less stress and worry about your finances.
How can you add to your resources? This may mean getting a part-time job, asking family for help, etc.
What expenses can be eliminated? Unfortunately, you may not be able to do everything you want. Are there some things you consider necessities that may really be luxuries? What things can you do less frequently? Are there little things you buy each day (e.g., a latte) that add up? Can you cut back on these?
Being smart about credit means acknowledging that credit cards are not free money. They are high interest loans.
If credit cards are a problem for you, you can…
- Consider a debit card instead, so you only spend money that you really have.
- Use credit cards sparingly, not for small purchases. Otherwise you may be paying interest on minor items - soft drinks, magazines, etc.
- Ask for your credit limit (potential debt) to be lowered. Companies will try boost up your credit lines so you spend more. Tell them “no” each time.
- Avoid applying for a card just to get a free gift.
- Research before choosing a card.
- Pay your bills on time. Try to avoid carrying a balance.