Managing Your Money is what many Americans are faced with today! As inflation hits record highs, we find it more difficult to rise above living “paycheck-to-paycheck.” Some of us cannot cover all of the bills with that paycheck and carry over bills from month to month. Such practices leave us further and further behind.
GETTING IN FRONT OF EXPENSES
Whew! I paid the electric bill! Now. . . maybe I can breathe. That was not to be. . . the water bill rolled in the next day, and it was higher than expected because the city raised water rates! I used my last twenty dollars for gas today. What do I do?
DEVELOP A FINANCIAL PLAN
Managing your money means having a sound financial plan. And . . . it means following that plan. The picture above suggests ways to “get your house in order.”
Step One. Total your family monthly income. Total all bills, even what is spent on places like Wendys. Determine if the income covers the bills. If not, consider getting a second job or find ways to lessen expenses.
Step Two: Write down your goals for handling the financial situation.
Step Three: Decide the course of action. Will you cut expenses, get another job, forget about entertainment. . .what? Make a decision.
Step Four: Once the decision is made, determine the impact it will have on the entire family. If you get a second job, will you need a baby-sitter? What will that cost? Will that increase income, decrease it or will it remain the same?
Step Five: Write down your plan. Revise it if you discover things that will not work. Complete the plan!
Step Six: Implement the plan and stick to it!
THE SUCCESS OF MANAGING YOUR MONEY
One final suggestion for making your financial goals a success, is setting up a savings account. You must set aside a determined amount each month for “surprise” expenses. These could include car repairs, medical emergencies, house repairs etc. In the beginning, if the amount of money you can eke out of the budget is small…do it! Consistency is the key! It is better to start with $25 each month or pay period and continue, than to start with $50 and stop saving after three months. Be “budget comfortable” with your amount! Good luck in managing your money!