How to live on a budgetPosted at by ifydcat on category Personal Finance
If you find yourself in a bad financial situation, you should start making efforts to live on a budget. This article should help you figure out your budget and stick to it.
Make a list of all the things you need to pay on a monthly basis. You should include your rent or mortgage, your utilities, credit card bills, car payments, insurance premiums and anything else you have to make payments on. If you are in debt, get in touch with your creditors and establish a payment plan. You might be able to lower your monthly payments and drop the late fees if you state that you intent to pay off your debt.
If the items you have to spend money on every month exceed your income, find ways to reduce your expenses. You could for instance reduce your utilities by making an effort to turn appliances and lights off. Isolate your windows and your roof to save money on your heating bill. If your insurance premiums are too high, increase your deductibles to get lower monthly payments. Make sure you have enough money put aside to cover your deductibles. You could also reduce your car payments and car insurance premiums by trading your current vehicle for a cheaper one. If you spend too much on your phone bill or cable bill, select a more affordable service.
Certain items of your budget should be more flexible, such as your groceries, clothing, gas money and what you spend on entertainment. You can easily save money by purchasing the most affordable products and buying products in bulk. Shop in thrift stores; you should be able to find second-hand clothes, furniture and other household items you need. This could save you a lot of money if you need new clothes for your children. Avoid buying things you do not really need and make an effort to walk or ride your bike instead of driving when possible.
Put some money aside in a savings account. These savings should cover the deductibles of your insurance policies and will also come in handy if you have to spend more money than usual on bills. Do not dip into your savings unless you really have to and replace the money as soon as possible so you are prepared in case of an emergency. This savings account should help you stay away from bad financial situations such as payday loans; avoid borrowing money at high interest rates, no matter how badly you need it.
Find out more about tax deductible items. You could get a good tax return if you claim items such as expenses linked to the education of your children or to the use of renewable energies. Think about switching to a green energy provider, creating your own home business or giving money to charities; these items will add up and you will get an interesting tax return. Do not spend your tax return money irresponsibly. You should put most of it in your savings account and use the rest to catch up on your bills.
Living on a budget is not easy, but keep in mind that your financial situation will quickly improve if you do your best to spend your money responsibly. Use these tips and do more research to find out how you can reduce your expenses.