A lot of you are working or building a business, and it’s important that you save yourself first! It is important that you develop a budget and give yourself an incentive to watch your savings grow. How about we work on it together so that we can save ourselves, get out of debt, and have some money left over to buy a few things that we love? Grab a pen and paper and lets build a cushion.
The most important factors in this equation is determination, dedication, and self-discipline. These disciplines will help you in all areas of life.
Write A List Of Your Monthly Expenses:
Car Payment- ____
Student Loans- _____
Your Total Expenses Are: _____
Write A List Of Your Monthly Income After Taxes:
If You Have More Expenses Than Income:
We hope that your monthly income is higher than your monthly expenses, but we know that in this economy that is not always the case. Don’t fret. There are some steps to take so that you won’t fall deep into debt, and you will be able to maintain your bills. If you are a believer in God, and believe that you should pay your tithes and offering…Do that first. The goal is to always keep your faith strong, no matter what it looks like. Next, you pay yourself first (before looking at any bills). Pay yourself 7% of what you have left after paying your tithe. Put this payment into a savings account that builds interest. And DON’T TOUCH IT.
Saving first means that you give yourself an opportunity to grow your money and develop your savings account. It’s imperative that you give yourself a cushion and save yourself first by paying yourself first, even if your money is tight. This will really help you in the long run.
If you are trying to stay afloat it is good to develop a payment schedule. How long does it take before you get in trouble with your debtors? Most utility company’s give you 2 months before you get shut off. Develop a relationship with your vendors by calling and explaining your situation, most of the time the customer service rep will give you a heads-up on their procedures.
Just because you are struggling financially does not mean you can’t be proactive about your finances.
Grab a calendar and write out your pay commitments. You can also call your student loan providers and place yourself on a forbearance to give you time to find a better paying job or develop your business.
The most important bill is always your rent/mortgage bill. Place your bills in order of priority and pay accordingly. Also, check and see what you can go without. Can you go without your cable for 4 months and watch tv online instead? That $400 saved can go to another bill. Or what about getting rid of your car and waking up a little earlier to take the train? That saves both gas and a car payment. Sometimes you have to let things go to gain them.
Needless to say, if this is your situation, you window shop and do not make frivolous purchases.
The goal is to get out of this…not stay in it. But while you are in it, keep your faith high. You will get out.
If Your Income Is Higher Than Your Expenses:
Count yourself lucky. In this economy, you are a rare breed. Consider yourself blessed and know that this is a great situation to be in! This is a situation you want to take advantage of, because nothing lasts forever.
How much money do you have left over? Right it down. Let’s increase it. You should pay yourself first by saving this money. Open a savings account and put at least 7% of your money in it. Once your savings grows to a certain number (that you choose), go to a credit union or bank and open a CD. With a CD you put your money in for a certain period of time (you’re unable to take it out without a penalty) and then the bank pays you a certain amount of interest on it. Credit Unions give you greater interest. Interests adds up! Depending on how much you put in and the bank’s interest rate, you can earn a couple thousand in interest per year.
Get yourself out of debt quicker by paying more on your bills than what is requested. You are probably plagued with student loans, so it is good to get that out of the way. Kick your payments in gear so that you can live a debt-free life. Don’t settle with living in debt.
It is important to develop a strategy of paying your bills, paying more than requested, and saving your money in accounts that grow. You can even apply the interest you earn to get out of debt. If you earn $1,000 in interest, that is $1,000 you didn’t work for, and therefore its easier to place it on one of your debts so that you can get out of debt quicker.
See it as your mission to gain as much money as you can and pay as many bills as you can because you are in a prime position. But the main thing is to save yourself first, by putting aside money (that you don’t touch!) once you are paid.
As much as we love fashion and fun, there is nothing more stylish and fun than being debt free. Why live with a mortgage for 30 years when you can pay it off in 15? Small things add up, and you will see the benefits of your determination later in life.