Family Financial Stress?
When it comes to your family, most people would do just about anything for them. What they may not realize, however, is what a huge toll financial issues can have on them. When you don't have enough money to pay all your bills, your entire family can feel the stress and the strain. Here are 6 ways to improve your finances for your family.
1. Keep a record of everything you spend
Major spending often happens in small, almost unnoticeable increments. That $5 you spend each day on a coffee may not seem like a whole lot, but over the course of a month can add up to well over $100. The $10 you spend on lunch every day can add up to nearly $300. When you really get a clear picture of just how much money you are spending each month on "incidentals," you may start naturally finding ways of cutting your expenses.
2. Set a budget
You might think that setting a budget would be the first step to improving your finances, but it is not. Before you can actually set a realistic budget, you need to see what you are already spending all of your money on. This is why tracking your spending comes first. Then you can sit down and decide where and how to make realistic cuts in your spending based on your actual spending habits.
3. Pay off your credit cards
The average American household carries close to $10,000 in monthly debt, with 41.2% of all households carrying some kind of credit card debt. The monthly interest alone can make it difficult to ever pay down the balance. When all you are doing is just paying interest every month, you are trapping yourself in debt.
4. Repair your credit
Having good credit means you can get lower interest rate credit cards and lower interest rate loans. When you lower your interest rates, it makes it easier to pay down balances. If you have poor credit there are a number of credit repair companies that can help you get it cleaned up and in better shape, which can help pull you out of debt. Remember, the point of good credit is not to create more debt, it is to help minimize the debt you already have.
5. Start saving
When you are barely making ends meet, it can be difficult to set aside money for savings -not to mention seeming counterintuitive. Small savings can add up significantly over time, so no matter how much or how little you make, you can start right where you are. Many banks offer programs that will take the remainder of purchases, round it up to the nearest dollar amount and transfer it to savings. So, the $4.32 you spend on your weekly coffee (rather than daily) will net you $.68 towards your savings. Additionally, it is a great idea to do your research on life insurance regarding your savings. A great place to check out is bank on yourself reviews.
6. Use cash
Studies show that there is a mental disconnect that happens when we use plastic cards to pay for everything. In essence, it keeps us from fully realizing just how much we are spending. When you use actual cash for your purchases, however, it creates a far better mental connection between your money and your spending. In addition, using cash makes it easier to budget and set limits. When you pull out a certain amount of cash for the month or the week, you can cut yourself off when it's gone.
Finances don't have a tendency to repair themselves overnight. This is because one of the biggest keys to repairing finances is changing your spending habits - and habits don't change easily. Many people tend to think that their finances would improve if they could just make more money. The truth is, however, that if you spend whatever you earn now (or more) you would still spend whatever you earned if you made more money. The key to improving your finances is almost never to make more money, it's to better manage what you have right now.