If payday comes and your money seems to vanish instantly, it might be time to review your budget. A lavish lifestyle can be great for appearances, but impractical for anyone with a more limited income. We all want to be able to spend money for our wants while making sure to cover the necessary expenses.
For many of us, resisting impulse purchases can be tough, especially when they seem small and insignificant.
But if you’re struggling to keep up with your bills, even if through no fault of your own, it might be time to make some adjustments to your spending habits.
Here are some signs that you are going over budget and ways you can cut back.
- You Have Lots of Stuff But No Money
You can’t make payments with your things. No matter what you buy or how valuable something is to you, it can’t come before necessary bills like water and electricity.
If you find yourself drowning in items that you don’t use, it might be time to think about selling them for a little bit of cash. Staging a garage sale or putting your items online is a good way to get money quickly for your items. While you’re not likely to recover 100% of their value, you can manage to easily clear out some of your clutter while adding a little bounce to your short-term budget.
- Getting Rid of Debt
While in some cases debt can actually be alright for your budget, in general, future payments hanging over your head are not a good sign. Keeping your future flexibility hamstrung by going overboard with debt is a sure fire way to run into financial trouble.
Since vehicle purchases depreciate immediately after you sign for them, don’t finance your wheels until you can easily make a monthly payment.
For loans and bills already on the books, in some cases lenders, creditors, and insurance providers may let you space out your due dates throughout the month.
If you have lots of high interest debt owed to many different lenders, consider taking out a debt consolidation loan. These loans typically offer lower-interest compared to most credit card rates. By using the money you are loaned to pay off prior debts, you simplify and possibly even decrease payment amounts. By taking a debt consolidation loan, instead of owing payments to many different lenders, you only owe your debt to one.
You may be able to help your budget by simply cutting back.
Unnecessary costs such as TV and music streaming services, gym memberships, and daily coffee runs all add up. Ditto for shopping name brands and designer label clothes.
It’s worth doing some shopping around, buying from thrift stores and discount markets to get high quality products at a lesser price.
It isn't going to be an easy road, but learning how to manage your budget and live within your means is the best thing that you can do for yourself, your family, and your financial future.
If you are a member of Florida Credit Union, consider taking advantage of some of our financial services designed to help people struggling with their budget.
Florida Credit Union has collaborated with BALANCE to offer tips, and even counseling, on Debt Management and Budgeting. Check out this video to see if consolidating your debt should be an option to consider:
Figure out how much your debt consolidation payments would be with our Debt Consolidation Calculator and see if it fits better into your monthly budget than your current payments.
We also offer free credit score analysis, as well as well as debt consolidation loans and tips to improve your finances. Ask a member service representative for one next time you’re in a branch, or call us at 1-800-284-1144.