In today’s declining economy, financial problems are becoming increasingly common. Every time you go to the grocery store, the price of at least one thing you buy has gone up in price since last week. Almost daily the price of gas increases. So what can you do when you are continually forced to spend more and more, but your income stays the same? How can you take control of your personal finances, save money and get ahead?
First, you must be aware of where your money is going. Many people don’t realize this and without knowing it are spending what adds up to be a significant amount each month on little things. If you don’t normally ask for a receipt, start doing it now. Write down everything you are spending. Include cups of coffee, magazines, sodas, snacks and money spent eating out. Don’t omit anything. If you don’t know exactly where your money is going, you can’t make any affective changes, save money or take control of your finances.
Second, make a budget. Put all of your expenses into one of three categories: needs, fun money and savings. Everything you need to have obviously goes in the needs category. Be honest! Only put it here if you really need it. This includes things like rent or house payments, gas, childcare (for when you are at work, not at a movie) and food. From your fun money come things you enjoy having but can live without, like gifts, eating out, cable t.v. and toys for your kids. Finally, there is your savings. Maybe you are not saving anything yet or are not saving enough. 65% of all people living in the United States are not saving enough for retirement. Maybe you have a lot of credit card debt and can’t think about retirement until you’ve paid that off. Don’t despair! Keep reading to find out how you can pay off your debt, save money and take control of your personal finances.
Third, you have to be willing to make changes for your own good and the good of your family. Look closely at where your money is going and see what you can cut back on. Do you buy a $3 cup of coffee each morning? This adds up to $60 a month. Make your own. Start taking your lunch to work. Don’t buy the most expensive gifts.
This article covers very briefly the basics of balancing your money. For details visit my blog by clicking below because there is so much more information vital for balancing your money, controlling your personal finances and becoming financially secure than I am able to put in this article. It describes in depth each of the three categories: needs, fun money and savings, as well as the percentages of how much you should be spending on each category. It tells you exactly how to get out of debt, no matter how much you have, and how to best plan your retirement. My blog also offers a variety of ways to save money.