Imagine what it would be like if you had money in the bank and no longer had credit card bills holding you back. For many of us the current economic situation has made us look more closely at our finances and spending habits.
As a mom of course you are expected to not only keep the house in order but also the household expenses. If you want to break free of the shackles of debt, or simply need to live on a tight budget, the following ten steps below will greatly improve your ability to manage your money.
Step 1 – Track & Analyze Your Spending
If you aren’t sure where all the money coming into your home is going, then you’ll find it hard to work out what changes need to be made. Whenever you go shopping or whenever you make any purchase online make sure that you keep a note or the receipts from the purchases made.
Then at the end of each week you’ll see a clear picture of what you’ve spent your money on. It’s virtually impossible to make cuts in expense when you can’t visually see the various outgoings.
Step 2 – Develop A Spending Plan
A spending plan makes it easier for you to prioritize the items jumps to the front of the queue. This way you’ll find yourself making much wiser decisions on how money should be spent. Once you identify the unavoidable expenses, you will know the actual amount left for the lower priority items.
Step 3 – Leave Your Credit Cards At Home
This is a surefire way of preventing you from purchasing something that you don’t actually need. In a study carried out it was shown that people spend 34% more when they purchase something with a credit card rather than with cash.
With credit cards it becomes too tempting to keep piling on small items and impulse purchases, because we don’t physically see the cash being handed over.
Step 4 – Pay Off Outstanding Debts
It is vital to spend time looking at what debts you have and then put them into some order where you pay off the ones with say the highest rates of interest on them first. If you can focus on paying off one debt before it is actually due to end and then continue to do this with the rest.
Most of us get overwhelmed with multiple credit card debts and have a hard time tackling them all at once. If instead you choose to focus on paying off just one small debt at a time, you will reduce your overall debt dramatically faster.
Step 5 – Start Saving For A Better Future
For every $100 dollars people earn most are able to save less than $1 of this. If you can look closely at ways in which you can actually start to put a little more aside.
For example rather than enjoying take out 2 times a week cut it down to one and the money you would have spent on this meal can be put into your savings account. You’ll be amazed out much you can accumulate in a very short space of time.
Step 6 – Avoid Impulsive Shopping
It is often these impulse buys that lead us to having financial problems. Most of us are guilty of this behavior, and the use of plastic cards instead of actual bills encourages this behavior. By cutting out such things you’ll find you have more money available that can be used to either pay off debts you already have or to put in to a savings account.
Step 7 – Never Create New Debt
If you think that by paying the minimum amount owed on your credit card is going to help you become a debt free mom, think again. You’ll simply find yourself faced with more debt because of the interest being charged on the amounts you still owe.
One of the common mistakes is to believe that paying the minimum amount you’re still paying off your debt. Unfortunately the way the crafty banks manipulate their interest rates…a debt which may have taken you just a year to pay off, now burdens you for 7 years.
Step 8 – Never Make Financial Promises You Won’t Be Able To Keep
Before you even consider taking out a credit card or a loan think about whether you have the funds available to then pay back what you owe. Most companies are now perfectly within their rights to seek recompense from you in other ways if payments are not maintained.
Step 9 – Seek Help From A Licensed Credit Counsel Agency
If you are finding your financial situation at this time particularly overwhelming and you aren’t able to handle it alone then it is a good idea to seek outside help. There are a number of organizations with the necessary skills who can show you the most effective ways of freeing yourself from debt.