Fall is here, and perhaps you’re realizing that you spent more than you intended over the summer. Time to get organized as the holidays are approaching!
While it may be tempting to wait for the new year to “start new”, don’t hold off. Start now, go ahead and take the necessary steps to overcome the financial stress you may be experiencing.
Here are a few steps to get started:
- Go through your expenses. Knowing exactly what you’re dealing with is crucial. Gather all of your bills (housing included), get your credit card statements, figure out what you owe and when they’re due each month.
- Create a budget. Step 1 lets you know what you owe, now it’s time to figure out where you’re spending your money. List those expenses that fluctuate every month by rounding up. Create spreadsheet or keep it simple and use a blank piece of paper. This step is necessary to understand how you’re going to reach your financial goals.
- Cut back on your expenses. Now that you know how much you owe, and how much you spend, take a good look at where you can trim costs. If there are expenses that you don’t take advantage of and are costing you extra each month, take them out (the gym membership or streaming media service).
- Pay back the debt. Dedicate a certain amount toward your credit card balances. Go without some of the luxuries to make head way on those credit card balances.
- Increase your savings. If you don’t pay yourself first, start now. This savings will come in handy during the holiday months. Put away a comfortable amount each week and forget about it.
Once these five steps are taken care of then it’s just a matter of practice. Dedicate a couple of days during the month to review your progress and reinforce your financial goals.