Budgeting is a necessity these days. It is becoming more apparent every day. Seventy percent of America is coming up short on bills, rent, and food at the end of the month. The economy has suffered a huge hit. Everyone knows this. This recession has not rebounded like economist have stated. America still has an unemployment rate that is entirely too high. There is a lot of talent that is still out of work. All of this has put America in a huge crunch. The only way to get back on the upswing of the economic downturn is to know what you have.
I say this because if you do not know exactly how much money you have, and how much debt you have, then there is no starting point. We are going to change that. You have got to get organized. Put all of your bills on the table. This may need to be done every day when you are just starting out. Go through your mail everyday. Know what your bills are immediately. Remember “You are in charge of your future right now.” If you create and manage a budget, slowly but surely you will get back on top of things. You have already taken the first step by researching and gathering knowledge.
Realizing Actual Money
It is very important that you count every single penny you have. Count everything, cash, change, credit, and assets. Know what you have coming in every week. All reliable income. At this point you have taken control of your financial life. Once you get all of this together, it may not seem like a lot at first. That’s okay. You have at least taken the first step. Do not count income that you are hoping to come in. Often investments or loans do not come through. Just count on what you have and what you have coming in a residual income that is reliable.
Realizing Actual Debt
This is not going to be all that fun. This includes all bills. Rent, electric, water, insurance and so on. It adds up very quickly. Now you will want to communicate with all collectors. I would start with landlords and major bill companies such as electric, and water. Many times landlords will work with you and put you on a weekly payment plan. This will help. You must take into account gas as that has become a life decision at the pump these days. Most people spend one hundred dollars a week on gas. Unfortunately it is only going to go up. You will need to take this factor into account. The cost of living keeps rising, so we must strive to move up the chain once we are at work. It means taking on more responsibility to make more money usually, so by taking control of your finances you will know what it takes to manage other people and it is always fun to learn along the way and be open to all suggestions.
Below is a budget guide that will help you get started. It is only a guideline. You will need to keep up with how much money comes in every week. This is the only way to get back on top of the economic downturn.
- Budget Guideline
- Electric Bill
- Vehicle Note
This economic downturn has shaken the nation to its foundation. And while the nation seems to be gaining speed again, these next five years are going to be tough on everyone. All we can do is set, and then live by our budget.
For many situations there are federal grants and loans. All it takes is a quick Google search and you can find many government funded opportunities. There is a lot of money out there for mothers and women in general. There is a place to get started. They will walk you through every step of applying for each individual program.
There are food ministries and services at many local churches and organizations. They are very easy to locate. You can also go to any Chamber of Commerce or Salvation Army and they will generally have this information. Join a savings club. These are generally programs at any grocery store. They offer a value card. The money saved on groceries really adds up. That is money that can go back in the budget for other needs. Use coupons. It may seem like a lot of work to cut them out and keep up with them, but this is where organization will come back into play. If you have the coupons separated and ready to use when you check out they really can come in handy when you combine coupons with a value savings card. It is worth the time and effort. Organization is the key to staying on top of everything. Keep in mind this will take time and determination, but always with a lot of work comes a lot of reward.
3 Quick Ways to Solve Money Problems
Solving your money problems will decrease stress and anxiety, which will help you stop the debt cycle. Researchers have discovered that financial stress can lead to spending more money and creating more debt (instead of less!).
Here’s how money worries increase your spending habits, plus three ways to solve your money problems and decrease financial stress.
How Money Worries Increase Spending Habits
In her survey, psychology professor Karen Pine of the University of Hertfordshire found that 79% of women said they’d go on a spending spree to cheer themselves up if they were in a financial crisis. Pine’s research leads her to conclude that women use shopping to avoid negative feelings or life dissatisfaction.
Ironically, worrying about money could lead women to spend more, and get further into debt.
“If shopping is an emotional habit for women, they may feel the need to keep spending despite the economic downturn,” said Professor Pine. “Or, perhaps worse still, if they can’t spend, we might see an increase in mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.”
Solving your money problems not only takes the pressure off you and your family — it can keep you mentally and emotionally healthy, too.
3 Ways to Solve Money Worries
To stop stressing about your finances, you need to stop emotional spending.
- Learn the difference between need and stress. Emotional spending is similar to emotional eating: it avoids the cause of the problem and creates problems in the long run. To stop creating more debt, tune in to your stress levels and ways of handing anxiety. Learn when you’re spending because you’re stressed, or spending because you genuinely need the item.
- Don’t buy the item for five days. When you’re tempted to spend money you don’t have, give yourself a five day “cooling off” period. You’ll be surprised at how often you realize you don’t want the item five (or even one) days later.
- Deal with your triggers. Does arguing with your partner about money problems compel you to shop and spend money you don’t have? Or maybe your shopping habits are triggered by problems at work or with your kids. Whatever your triggers are – find other, healthier, ways to cope.
Solving money worries involves taking action, whether that means dealing with your emotional shopping tendencies or making a household budget and sticking to it. New habits like these take time to develop, but – once implemented – they will reduce your financial stress!