Debt consolidation may be a brilliant idea for many people, but you should not forget that financial management is the key to be totally debt free. Every individual should learn how to plan a budget for their daily and future needs with one important objective: making sure that your expenses do not exceed your income. In other words, you must learn to live within your means.
Below are some pointers which you may find helpful as you welcome the New Year with hopeful finances:
Monthly income assessment. List down all income sources including your monthly salary, businesses, endowment, pension, etc. The most crucial is writing down all expenses for the month, including house rent, utilities, food, gas or transportation expenses, purchases using credit cards, etc. Then get the difference by subtracting your monthly expenditures from your monthly income.
Check whether there is still a balance or if your monthly income could sustain your monthly expenses. If your monthly income would not suffice to pay for your bills, then, look for items in your monthly expenses that you can cut back or can go away without.
In some cases, you may opt to put on some money first for savings before spending the rest for your monthly needs. Taking 5% to 10% of your monthly income might be ideal. With that information, you may be able to set a monthly budget to cover your needs and still be able to save for emergencies or for vacation.
One good advice is by looking for ways to reduce your utilities consumption, which form part of your controllable expenses. You can slash down usage by turning off lights when not needed or unplugging electrical outlets for appliances not in use. Check whether your telephone consumption can be reduced by looking for budget plans they offer.
When shopping, go to outlets or wholesale warehouses. Before entering a shop, make sure you have your list of the most important items and be strict to stick on it. A packed lunch would also be practical than buying lunch while at work. If you can walk on your way to the office, it is not only cost-saving, but also healthy.
Those are just the most common things that you can see where you spend for your day to day activities. Try to impose the discipline in yourself and you will notice a huge difference.