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Many people have dreams of going to college and landing that dream job. As more students graduate, it’s after college, when they realize those dreams are crushed by debt. College is one of the best things you can do for your career, but as we all know, education isn’t free.
If you’d like to procure a successful future, profit-wise, here are some ways to reach your financial goals, or at least get closer to them in the upcoming years.
#1) Tweak Your Spending Habits
First and foremost, before cleansing yourself of any financial woes, you must rid yourself of any extra expenses that are costing you money, such as that gym membership that you aren’t utilizing, or those cable bills that are piling up, month to month. These costs can add up big time, making it much better spent elsewhere, such as investing or going towards a debt.
Pay attention to every little detail of your spending and your finances will go far. A $7 Netflix subscription may seem like a great idea, but if you barely watch it, that adds up to $84 per year, then $420 in the next 5 years. If you are having financial troubles, then pairing down your spending habits and understanding exactly how your money is being spent is a great start.
Mint.com offers a free alternative to keeping up with your expenses, bills and savings. The site also allows you to create goals, such as what make and model car you would like, as well as a retirement plan. Warnings can also be issues via texting or email so no matter where you are, you’ll be financially responsible.
#2) Be Wise When Spending
Although budgeting might seem like a lame idea, it’s the best way to make sure you always have money saved up for a rainy day, like a blown out tire or for those times where you’ll immediately need it such as a spur of the moment lunch meeting at work. When times get rough, you’ll be glad you saved and you will be better prepared without the added stress of uncertainty.
By creating a balanced budget, ideally factoring out bills and other necessities first, you’ll be able to foresee what other expenses should be taken out for things that you really enjoy. It’s important to note, beforehand, what you are spending so that you will make better choices in the foreseeable future. Without a goal, overspending and unwise actions might occur, leaving you in a financial hard place, which most of us are guilty of committing.
Creating a spreadsheet of weekly expenses is one way to visually see what you are spending on a weekly basis. If you’re truly a stickler for visual comparisons, creating a graph will help you to find your way of obtaining better financial goals also.
#3) Have a Plan
Whatever your income, there is always a way to save. Some people might be able to thrive by only making minor adjustments while others might have to do a major overhaul, meaning those fun things you’ve been planning might have to be on pause for a while.
Although there is an ideal balanced budget that most financial advisors would agree on, we also know that not everyone is able to follow the ideal down to a T. Doing what works for you is always the best bet. Think about what’s most important to you and where you would like to see yourself in the near future. Keeping up with the Jones’ is not a way to create a healthy financial life for yourself and what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you.
Getting into debt is caused when your income is lower than your expenses. Organize your expenses to most urgent to what can be put off. Even if a bill has a high interest rate, talk to bill collectors about paying off the minimum balance to keep you in the green. If you owe student loans, then consider a deference or forbearance so that you can focus on paying off the more important expenses for a while, otherwise, this will effect your credit, making it nearly impossible to purchase a house or car later in life.
Working with what you have is better than doing nothing at all. If you are low income and you wish to obtain a better start with financial goals, it starts with getting real about your state and making big changes.
#4) Make More & Save What You Can
You may be thinking of how impossible it is to get yourself out of debt. Although your situation might seem hopeless right now, where there’s a will there’s a way. No matter what you make, you can always save something, even if it’s only as little as $5 a month, which is a tiny amount but, hey, again it’s something.
If $5 a month isn’t good enough for you, consider taking up a part time job or doing something on the side, such as selling all of your unwanted items in a yard sale or Craigslist. Take up a temp position that lasts for a short period of time that you can do when you’re not working, ask your boss for a raise, anything you can do to make more money and get you closer out of debt. Take that money and immediately give it to creditors and debt collectors.
On the other hand, if you are debtless, then take all that hard-earned cash and apply it to investment plan. You can also save for retirement and put extra money away for savings, if you have children. The possibilities are endless. Even if you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel right now, taking action and taking control of your own finances will ensure a more comfortable outlook.
Financial planning shouldn’t be about hoarding your money. Finding the right balance is key to wise spending, even if you only make pennies. Take what you know and apply it right now. There’s no time like the present when it comes to securing and creating a brighter destiny.
Are you a saver or a spender? Do you always find that you’re broke each month without a clue of where your money goes? Tell us about how you got out of debt or your plans for getting out of debt. I’m sure your suggestions will help someone else. Sharing is caring! Impart your knowledge and help someone you know to get out of debt with these helpful suggestions!