Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finances 101

Basic tips to getting your finances in order:

1. Know what you make. Sounds easy, right? Well unfortunately some people (maybe they are paid differently each pay period, or on commission) don't know EXACTLY what they make. Try to find out EXACTLY what you bring home. You can't have a perfect budget if you don't know the answer.

2. Know your expenses. How much to the CENT is every single bill??

3. Start a budget. Use numbers 1 and 2 to create an incoming column and an outgoing column. Write down EVERY bill. Don't skip any! Included gasoline, sonic drinks, movie rentals, entertainment money--EVERYTHING!

4. Don't panic. There are ways to fix it if it's not balancing!

5. Make a zero budget. Google some info on Dave Ramsey. He can explain it in detail. I can just say this very simply... GIVE EVERY DOLLAR A PLACE TO GO! That means if you bring home 2,000 each month and your expenses are 1,500 then on paper you have to find a place for that extra 500... even if its to send it to your savings account, or put some in your christmas fund, or new tire fund. Every dollar has a name... and if it doesn't--assign it one!

6. Pay your bills on time. You save money and save stress.

7. Keep up with the "randoms" as I call it. Trash bills that come only every quarter, insurance premiums that come once a year, things like that. TAXES! This one gets a lot of people each year. Start setting aside money for those. Even if it's only $10 each month.

8. Use the debt snowball. Start with the low balance. Pay the minimums on everything EXCEPT this lowest balance. Put everything extra you can towards it until its paid off. Then snowball down to the highest ones.

9. Work as a team. I had to learn this one the hard way. I wanted to keep my independence and handle MY stuff MYSELF. but the day we decided to be a team my life got easier.

10. Set aside money for fun! If you don't, you will end up quitting and get right back into debt!

11. Look for ways to scale back. Cancel the primo cable subscription, lower your minutes on cell phone plan, quit eating out as much!

12. At the same time... look for ways to INCREASE your income. Sell some stuff, get a part time job, list items on EBAY. look for ways to increase your income!

13. Stick with it! don't give up!

14. blog about it. :) Okay so that's probably not a qualifing statement for "Finances 101" but just like with anything, you need accountability. Having a place to write about your journey towards financial freedom keeps you accountable. And you can make money blogging.

15. Organize it! Keep a binder, notebook, drawer, etc. Some place that is designtated SOLELY for finances. That way things don't get lost, bills don't go unpaid... it just keeps you on top of your GAME!

16. Make goals for the future. This won't be a fun process, but it can be less painful if you have GOALS in mind.

17. Be excited about it!

18. Consolidate student loans, car loans, home loans, credit cards... anything you can! Get it into ONE place so that you have ONE payment to keep up with!

19. Use bill pay. But don't PAY FOR IT! That is ridiculous. Most banks will offer it for free, or at least free for so long. Don't pay for things that you can do yourself. Bill pay is NICE and HANDY to have, but if it costs you money to spend YOUR money on YOUR bills... well, am I the only one that sees something wrong with that picture?

20. Call your credit card companies and ask to have your interest lowered. Beg them, in fact. The lower the interest the sooner you can pay it off.

21. Trade down. If you have 3 people in your family then you PROBABLY don't HAVE to have a huge gas gussler of a car. (I'm not knocking them, but if it's not a necessity, then during this time you should get rid of it)

21. Refinance your car. Didn't know you could do that until recently. Do it! save money! And that extra money can go towards paying down debt!

Just some handy tips! I hope they help!!

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