Bills got you in a Bind?

Monthly bills got you in a bind?

Do you ever feel as if all your money is spoken for before you even get paid? Are you worried that you may not make all of your payments this month? Let's find out exactly how much you've already committed to.
Make a list of all those payments you're obligated to pay every month, (rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, loans, credit cards etc). Just the things you HAVE to pay. If you joined us in the first blog, you should already have this.
Now, add it all up and divide that by the total amount of your household take home income. Now multiply by 100.
What did you get? This number is the percentage of your money that is spoken for. Is it more than you were expecting? Is it more than half? If you are like most of us, it is. In fact, it's way more.
And what's left is what you have for savings, emergencies and just everyday spending like movies, shopping, weekend getaways, even a down payment on something you've had your eye on. Life.
So what do you do? Before you sign on that dotted line and commit to any more monthly payments, think twice. Next, work toward reducing the payments you have. Your goal? Let's get that percentage down to 50%. So when you get paid, half is yours to save and spend.

How To Tame Your Budget

Have you tamed your budget? Does thinking about your finances give you anxiety?

Your palms sweat, heart races. You feel like you just ran a 5k. Well, you are not the only one. Creating a budget and staying on track with it isn't easy. Does it seem overwhelming? It's like your New Year's resolution to start your diet. Your budget, like your diet will do you no good if you don't start. All it takes is a little commitment. I'm not going to tell you that it's simple. It's not, but it isn't rocket science either.

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It's like there's a mental roadblock when it comes to budgeting. It's hard to follow, hard to include everything. So break it down into small chunks that are as easy to digest as that detox water sitting in your refrigerator. Start with Monday. What did you purchase? How did you pay, cash or card? Credit or Debit? Online? Be honest, nobody's judging.

Finished? Move on to the next day. Make it a habit of writing these down every day for a week. Now, do the same for the next week. At the end of a month add up all your spending, and subtract your total from the amount of money you took home that month.

It's time to compare. Which is higher? If your answer was expenses, you've got to chill with the shopping sprees or try reducing your expenses. Yes Amazon counts. No you don't need the box set of FRIENDS The Complete Series for $129.99 with free shipping if you order by June 11th. Keep this up and you will be eating into your savings or owing debt.

If you find that your expenses total less than your income, fabulous! You're on the right track. Take that extra money you've got and put it towards something worthwhile like savings, paying off debts or an emergency fund.

See? Making a budget isn't so bad. You've got the basics, and now that you know how to start, is it really that scary? Of course there's more to it than just writing things down. But we'll get to that. Until next time.