Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
2 minutes reading time (467 words)

Making a Bad Financial Situation Better

Living paycheck to paycheck and making just enough money to pay the bills is no fun. Living this way month after month, year after year can take a toll on your emotional well-being. The financial strain you’ve lived under for weeks can make you unhappy. That’s no way to live. If you’re tired of living this way, it’s time to do something about it.

Do you know how much you’re paying?

You may mindlessly write the checks for your bills each month to get it out of the way, but how much attention are you really giving your bills? You may be overpaying for some of your services without even realizing it. Just one month, make a list of all the bills that come in and the amount of those bills.

Can you cut back on what you’re paying?

Then, look at each of these expenses on that list, one by one, and consider whether you can reduce the amount of those bills. For example, you may be able to eliminate some cable services or ask your provider for a discount.

Are you paying for more cell phone coverage than you need? If you’re continually under your minute or data usage, consider lowering your rate plan to save money on your bill.

If your electricity bill is high, be sure you’re not wasting energy by keeping on lights and appliances that aren’t being used. Add some electronics to a surge protector and turn it off when you’re not using them. Switch to energy saving light bulbs and appliances.

Read your billing statements thoroughly to be sure you’re not being billed for recurring services that you didn’t sign up for. For example, an free trial that goes un-cancelled will often turn into a recurring monthly expense that you can miss if you’re not paying enough attention.

Can you make extra money?

Generally speaking, there are only two ways to create extra room in your monthly budget. The first is to cut your expenses. The second way is to make more money. If you have a skill or hobby, you may be able to turn it into a side business. Depending on your job, you may be able to work overtime to get extra money in your paycheck. Consider getting a part-time job to bring in extra income.

Working a part-time job or running a side business may not be sustainable in the long run. You can, however, use that income to accomplish some short-term goals that will help you. Specifically, you can use the extra income to pay off some credit card debt. As you pay off your credit cards, you free up the monthly payment that you used to send your credit card issuer. The more debt you pay off, the lower your monthly expenses will be.
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Saturday, 24 August 2019

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