Taking control of personal finance is the best gift you can give yourself and your family. When credit card spending spirals out of control or outstanding debts rule your life, it is time for serious financial change. Unfortunately, many people do not have a clue where to start. Oftentimes, individuals turn to filing personal bankruptcy in hope of being released from financial bondage.
Regardless of how bad personal finance problems are, there is always a way to fix them. In order to regain control of cash flow, it is imperative to take a hard look at where your money is being spent. This can be accomplished by creating a household budget.
Budgeting is the least expensive way to get back on track. Most people can create a budget by using a piece of paper and a pencil. Others purchase budgeting software or utilize online tools such as those offered by their bank or credit card company.
In order to create a budget, you will need to gather all your bills and tally up how much is owed each month. Typical expenses include home mortgage payments or rent, utilities, car payments, insurance premiums including medical, dental, auto, and homeowner's or rental policies, groceries, cable TV, internet service, gasoline, car maintenance, clothing and entertainment.
If you earn less than you spend, the first step of regaining control over personal finance is to determine where expenses can be reduced. With a little creativity and a few phone calls, you might be able to reduce monthly expenses by as much as 50-percent.
Most utility companies offer budget plans which allow customers to pay close to the same amount each month. Enrolling in utility budget plans can be achieved by contacting each utility company. Some utilities allow customers to subscribe to the budget plan via their company website.
Most cable TV and internet providers offer bundle packages and charge reduced rates for customers who purchase two or more services. It is always a good idea to comparison shop to determine competitor rates. When talking with cable providers explain that company XYZ offers the same package for x-amount of dollars less. You might be surprised to discover your current cable provider will drop their rates if they believe they will lose your business.
Groceries are one of the highest expenses for most families. As food prices continue to soar, it is imperative to find ways to slash grocery bills. There has never been a better time to engage in couponing and rebate programs. Numerous online coupon sites exist which allow individuals to print coupons from the comfort of home.
Many people feel that clipping coupons requires too much time. However, I know a woman who saves nearly 50-percent of her grocery bill by spending an hour each week clipping coupons and comparing grocery sale ads. If you spend $100 per week, you could potentially save $200 per month for a few hours of coupon clipping and price comparison. How far would $200 per month go in solving your personal finance problems?
In order to get out of debt, it is imperative to review where your money is being spent. A good way to see the big picture is to record every expense in a notebook. I once knew a man who spent $2400 on bottled water and another $2000 on morning coffee drinks. Because he was buying these items one at a time, he did not realize how these items were depleting his personal finances. How much money are you wasting on items you really don't need? Track your daily expenses for a month to find out.
Credit card debt is often the source of many people's financial problems. If you are in over your head and barely making minimum payments, consider obtaining credit card debt relief help. Many companies offer debt solutions that can range from debt consolidation to debt settlement. It is imperative to conduct research and comparison shop for the best deal. Most debt settlers charge a start-up fee and monthly fee until outstanding debt is paid in full.
If you have staggering levels of debt, consider obtaining credit counseling. Credit counselors are trained to help individuals regain control of personal finance, pay off credit cards and outstanding debts, and implement a savings plan.
We have only scratched the surface of ways to regain control over personal finance. We invite you to learn more money-saving tips, techniques and strategies in our personal finance article library. Here you will discover information on debt management, debt consolidation, debt settlement, budgeting, credit counseling, bankruptcy and more.
Published on February 25, 2010 at 02:37 AM | Comments: 1