The importance of managing personal finances effectively has grown in recent years, with disposable incomes lower in the face of the global economic crisis. What do you need to do in order to balance your money and ensure that you do not end up incurring additional debts?
If you do not have a notebook, or an Excel spreadsheet, that details all of your incomings and outgoings on a monthly basis, then buy or create one now. This is a simple method for getting all of your ins and outs down in one place, so you can look at them easily and see what you are spending. Only include recurring payments, such as insurance, bills, rent and those sorts of things, do not worry about food at this stage, as you can consider that in with your disposable income.
From your recurring payments you can then work out what you have left for fuel, food, and any other essentials, before being left with a true picture of your disposable income.
Look to Cut Loose
If you find yourself paying out more than you are bringing in, or with little left over for food or luxuries, then you need to look at where you can cut back. Do you really need to have the premium cable television package? Could you reduce your home or cell phone usage to save money? These are all questions that you should ask yourself when looking to balance money.
If money is really a struggle, then one of the more extreme sounding options could be to sell your car. While many view their car as an essential, the truth is that doing without one and using public transport will most likely save you a lot of money in the long run. You will also find yourself walking much more, instead of driving the 1km to the store you will walk instead, and become much fitter and healthier over time.
This is probably one of the things you would be less likely to want to do. However, over time you will realise that owning a car does not matter too much, especially if it is clear it is not as big an essential as you previously thought it was. Public transport really is not that bad, and car hire is not expensive should a car ever be really needed.
Are you really getting the best deal on everything that you buy? Instead of hitting the store to do your shopping, could you shop online instead where it is generally cheaper? As well as experiencing cheaper prices, you can also take advantage of numerous coupon codes and other exclusive offers available only to online shoppers.
Treat your utilities as purchases, too. We already looked at your cable television and cell phone usage, but are you really getting the best prices for your electricity usage, or could you save money elsewhere?
Discuss your financial concerns with your partner too, as it is likely there are ways you can help each other and save money together in the long term. Do not pay more than you should for anything, at any time.
This is a guest post from Rob at Videojug. Videojug is a high-quality video content website covering a wide-range of topics such as money saving and careers for visitors to experience around the world. [Anna]
(Image credits: kenteegardin, Siddy Lam)