Are you, like most women, expected to prepare the family budget, bring in income, keep up with all the household chores and take care of family members? No wonder we’re amazing multi-taskers!
And, while the job of budgeting like a pro and keeping the finances on track may not make it to the top of your ToDo list, it’s not impossible to balance your budget and your life – with the right system.
I like to call it the:
To achieve financial freedom you need a SMART plan that covers the top five money matters:
The Big Picture: Tracking your monthly expenses reveals your financial requirements and the expenses of living. Whether you’re single or married, take the first step and keep track of all the family spending for at least 3 months. When you can see the big picture, it’s easy to make, and use a budget – the cornerstone of a successful debt free life.
Devilish Details: Make it a point to pay all the monthly bills before the due date. Automated bill paying from your bank makes this an easy habit to acquire. Paying bills on time saves the late fees and improves your credit score which saves you finance fees too. Paying little or no interest on your lifestyle purchases makes the debt free life attainable.
Careful Choices: Learn to say no to excessive use of your credit cards. They can make life easier but they also increase the probability of overspending. If you’ll use credit cards for every purchase, and don’t pay the entire balance off by the due date, you pay the extra interest charge and end up paying more for each item. Your debt free life doesn’t include carrying credit card balances.
If you’re already have credit card balances you can’t pay-off monthly, you may want to look into a credit card settlement to pay them down. With settlement, you may be able to get a reduction on the total amount of debt you owe on some of the accounts. And you’ll have to follow a reasonable repayment plan. This will help you balance the budget and speed your way to a debt free life.
Power of Cash: Maintaining a Backup (or emergency savings) fund is essential for living debt free. Your fund will allow you to calmly handle an unexpected financial demand without paying excessive fees or interest. Start now and add to your fund each month (make it part of the budget); repay withdrawals within a month or two.
Future In-Sight: Just as it’s important to enjoy today, it’s important to plan for your financially free future. Dreaming about living debt free is a good place to start, taking action is what makes it happen. If you’re working now on budgeting and paying off past purchasing mistakes, congratulations! You’ve made the decision and are taking the actions. If you’re just starting on the debt free path, get busy with step #1 and you’ll soon find yourself a debt free and financially stable woman.
Best of Luck to you – Martha Jackson
Hope you enjoy this guest post!
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