SPEND RESPONSIBLY - Gaining financial control
Make your budget work
Sticking to a budget is not always easy, but it is worth persisting to maintain or regain financial control and stay on top of your debt. Here are some ideas to help you do just that.
- Keep track of your spending on a regular basis.
- Aim to trim your spending on a different expense category each month. Just cutting back by about 5% to 10% can make a real difference over time.
- Put some money away on a regular basis to cover large or infrequent expenses, so that the bills don’t come as such a shock.
- Regard the balance of your bank account as a guide to what you can spend – not the limit on your credit card.
- A ‘bargain’ isn’t a bargain unless it is something you really need and can afford. You may save $40 on a $100 sale item reduced to $60, but you still need to spend $60 to buy it.
- Think about how long you would have to work to pay for an item using your take-home wage. If you earn $12 an hour after tax, it’s going to take you most of a day’s work to pay for an item costing $70.
- Look at ways to increase your income through, say, a second job. Think about selling something you no longer need, especially luxuries like a second car, which are costly to own and run.
Most people don’t get into debt overnight. And getting out of debt can be a long, slow process. But your financial freedom is worth the effort. Reward yourself for staying on track. Find inexpensive ways to celebrate your progress.